Zambia must halt false arrests of journalists and opposition figures, says CDDR

President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front government of Zambia must immediately halt their unlawful arrests and prosecutions of journalists and opposition leaders, according to the Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR).

“These politically motivated arrests represent a campaign of intimidation that violates the rights of all Zambian citizens to free and fair assembly and freedom of expression,” said Robert Amsterdam, international counsel to the CDDR.  “It is absolutely unacceptable for any country calling itself a rule-of-law democracy to have the leadership behave with such impunity, violating both local and international law to persecute their opponents.”

On January 8th 2013, the leader of the opposition Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) was arrested for the third time in less than two months.  Dr. Mumba is being accused under the abuse of office clause for alleged conduct dating back to more than a year ago.  Police have also threatened to arrest the broadcast journalist Chanda Chimba III, who produced several documentary films critical of President Sata in 2011.  In the past year, the police also routinely ignored court orders to ban political rallies by opposition parties, including a joint peace rally planned at Mtendere by MMD, United Party for National Development (UPND), Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD), United Liberal Party (ULP), and the Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM).

“The PF government has no legal grounds to interfere with the democratic opposition in this manner, but rather are seeking a distraction from the failed economic policies behind the mealie-meal crisis,” Amsterdam said.  “If they were serious about fighting corruption, the PF would not have a sitting minister of justice under investigation and would not threaten the Anti-Corruption Commission, ordering them to ask permission before investigating officials.”

Representing a broad array of opposition parties, political figures, and private citizens, Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR) is a legal defence alliance formed in Zambia in the fall of 2012 in response to increasing harassment and interference by the authorities and related parties.  More information on the CDDR’s activities can be read at

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32 Responses to "Zambia must halt false arrests of journalists and opposition figures, says CDDR"

  1. nshilimubemba   January 10, 2013 at 00:35

    In the west any one who tempers with public funds is arrested either a minister or any common individual therefore politicians are very carefull how the handle public funds so the case in zambia it a normal thing if these plunderers where here they would have been jailed much earlier

  2. nshilimubemba   January 10, 2013 at 00:28

    Well if there is no case to answer , but if some one has stollen the law must take its cause, you mean it is only the poor who should be arrested while rich go scort free, the law should work for all not only on the voiceless who languish in prisons and no one talks a bout it

  3. GK Lusaka   January 9, 2013 at 13:57

    PF supporters are suffering from amnesia. Because of ignorance they are retarding development of the country. They have a narrow picture rather than bigger picture which is for the common good of all Zambians. President Sata has failed, period.

  4. SUNKUTU HICHILEMA KADANSA   January 9, 2013 at 13:13

    PF haters,we are enjoying your grief….including your malilo….We shall supply the nkuni.

  5. Preamble   January 9, 2013 at 12:53

    International crooked lawyer who defends his crooked clients by denouncing political leadership of their country of origin so that it could appear as if they are being victimised. He did that in russia, thailand, gabon and now in zambia

  6. Mwitwa   January 9, 2013 at 10:58

    May be as zambian we are thinking properly why is the international community nt worried abt us zambians maybe unless see blood shed in zam:bias thats wen people will be concerned things are bad here in Zambia

    • soko   January 9, 2013 at 11:18

      An American friend once told me “Zambia is not important for development aid and global news since there is no civil war or natural calamity”

  7. comedy of eras   January 9, 2013 at 10:47

    For the first time in the history of Zambia someone will appear before the international criminal court of justice,mark my words.

    • isaac   January 9, 2013 at 13:31

      It won’t happen for some body to be committed to INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT one really must be found to be masscaring or have masscared a lot of pipo not any how. Look at Assad president of Syria, so far 60,000 thousand pipo have been killed but somehow is still a free man.

  8. Chamanga   January 9, 2013 at 10:41

    Just go and write another disjointed press statement. You mean you have no work there at state house other than blogging here on ZWD?

  9. Chamanga   January 9, 2013 at 10:40

    Just go and write another disjointed press statement. You mean you have no work there at state house other blogging here on ZWD?

  10. JUST FRANK   January 9, 2013 at 10:00


  11. Kalu   January 9, 2013 at 09:36

    Who takes Armsterdam serious,only the corrupt

  12. silu ni silu   January 9, 2013 at 08:36

    Correction please! No single MP resigned. They are blackmailed and their lives and family in danger. If they allowed themselves to play champion like chingimbu, they were going to die for nothing. They are also humbly waiting for Satan to die then they will tell us the truth. Don’t blame them. Its life or death and there is nothing to die for yet. Let us be patient. Don’t imagine that pipo need convincing anymore that PF is evil. They know well well oh. Even if the entire opposition joined PF today, pipo will stil know that it is by brute force. Its do or die. Its PF or prison. They are not avoiding the opposition. It is prison Masumba avoided. His heart is MMD.

  13. bashi Dr Economist   January 9, 2013 at 07:56

    People who have unip metality can never be democrants, we are in much trouble with this govt, they do not beleive in the rule of raw and democrancy. look what is happenning to nevers and HH. WE ARE HEADING TO ONE PARTY STATE.

  14. khinakho ya bulozi   January 9, 2013 at 07:45

    They should also stop arresting barotseland self determination activists. As they are picking them up like lice ln infested hair

  15. concernedcitizen   January 9, 2013 at 07:21

    let Sata come in the open and tell the world that Zambia is a one party state and a Police state.And that there is no rule of law, no fight against corruption so long you are PF, no freedom of speech or assembly and that they will be less money in our pockets, simple not someone hiding in state house as though there working when there on bend on doing the opposite. what a silly and stupid old man.

  16. concernedcitizen   January 9, 2013 at 07:17

    CDDR we have all come to the sad realization that the POLICE and the COURTS are in no position to protect us from Political Persecution, talking won’t take us any where as we have seen that Sata does not heed good Advise so why not go a step further and report to an international court am sure these enough evidence. i wonder why the International Human Rights Organizations are so quiet on this subject, Traitors.

  17. Mwila   January 9, 2013 at 07:13

    @Gorge chella Chimba, you are saying why cant Sakwiba Sikota defend them in the courts of law, dont u realise that PF & their Police ar now above the Law in Zambia, they defy court orders, even if someone is justified by the courts of law, PF & their Police wil stil detain them, which is unacceptable especially that Zambia is still claiming to be a democracy which iam begining to doubt. Viva Zambian Opposition.

  18. Mr Kiss   January 9, 2013 at 07:06

    Were is HH these days?he seem to have gone into hiding.HH please,we need you on the scene.nevers was always with you when you were being harrassed by pf police

  19. CHILICHIBOTU   January 9, 2013 at 06:58

    Demonstrations, Protests, Riots, Rallies, March pasts. WE MUST KICK OUT THIS BLOOD THIRST GOVERNMENT OF SATA, WINTER, SYLVIA.

  20. Enock Roosevelt Tonga   January 9, 2013 at 06:48

    “UNITE ZAMBIA” My humble appeal to the people leading Mother Zambia. Please, there is a future ahead of us, lets guard it.

  21. Kalaba   January 9, 2013 at 06:26

    Let them celebrate. Time will come. And them being sick, we shall see

  22. ftj   January 9, 2013 at 06:23

    sata is dieing and very soon he will meet the KING OF JUSTICE Jesus…THE BATTLE IS THE LORDS

  23. MOSQUITO   January 9, 2013 at 06:08


  24. unopposed   January 9, 2013 at 06:01


  25. zokole   January 9, 2013 at 06:01

    For the sake of progress CNP,Kabimba,Lungu,Membe,Masebo+Sakeni should be arrested before many Zambians are victimised,abused and arrested.Let these three be caged and then peace will prevail.others to include on the List are:Libongani+Kabimba.Where is the Hague

  26. zokole   January 9, 2013 at 05:55

    If the snake(CNP)and their cohorts understood democracy,a conversion was supposed to be a first step to symbolise democracy.For your information,PF has not tasted a conversion before,nowander PF has been arresting opponents like hell.Dictatorial tenets can be observed from that& therefore,Mumba Nevers & other political opponents have become victims of dictatorship.Sata,Kabimba,Membe,Sakeni,Masebo and Edgar Lungu lack political maturity.However,can’t CNP+his fellow thugs be arrested via Hague for abuse of humanity?

    • mwine mushi   January 9, 2013 at 10:00

      Convention!! Chizungu!!

  27. dennis   January 9, 2013 at 05:51

    This is too much where is our democracy we fought for.

  28. kasaba musonda   January 9, 2013 at 05:43

    this is extremely bad for democracy

  29. maguys   January 9, 2013 at 05:40

    Democracy yapa ZED,We asked for it anyway and vima foolish MPs resigning and joining PF,,and am told that the former MP for livingstone is reverend what a waste