Commonwealth has cleared Zambia of Human Rights abuses, says Post newspaper

Even before a report is done and formally presented to the Commonwealth Secretariat, The Post newspaper today cleared the Zambian government of wrong in the area of human rights abuses in Zambia.

Quoting sources close to the Commonwealth team that is currently on a fact finding mission on the petition raised against the PF government, the Post says the Commonwealth team has assured the (PF) government that the petition presented by opposition political parties did not contain serious issues to worry about.

The newspaper which is an accomplice in the on-going human rights abuses in the Zambia, quotes government sources as having put their case, one of them being the bitterness the opposition have shown ever since they lost elections. We also gave them the background to this whole issue, that our colleagues have been driven by bitterness and jealous from the time they lost the election. On the other hand, we hand a dossier about our colleagues in the opposition which we presented to the Commonwealth team,” said sources.

“And they told us that from what our colleagues presented to them, there was nothing serious that we should worry about. They said there is nothing that should warrant Zambia’s suspension from the Commonwealth or that any sanctions should be imposed on Zambia. So the opposition were simply wasting their time by incurring such expenses of holding a conference in a foreign land to denounce their own government,” the Commonwealth team told the Zambian government team as quoted by the Post newspaper.

The Commonwealth team has been in Zambia from last saturday and are scheduled to wind-up and possibly leave for UK, London today.

The Commonwealth secretariat was represented by Jarvis Matiya and Koffi Soya while the Zambian government was represented by Solicitor General Musa Mwenya, DPP Mutembo Nchito, foreign affairs minister Effron Lungu, Information and Broadcasting minister Kennedy Sakeni and Justice minister Wynter Kabimba.

The Commonwealth team has so far had meetings with opposition political party leaders, civil society organisations, Speaker of National Assembly, Police Inspector General, journalists among others.

The Commonwealth way of operation is that they will compile a report based on evidence gathered, present it to the Secretary General with recommendations and later presented to the council of ministers.

The report will eventually be tabled at the Commonwealth Heads of State summit during which a position will be taken.

It is therefore not clear how the Commonwealth have cleared the Zambian government, as quoted by the Post newspaper even before these processes are exhausted.

And while the opposition dossier to the Commonwealth is a public document, the PF government has not unveiled their dossier to the public.

In the past, the Post newspaper has cleared senior government ministers facing corruption allegations even before the Anti-Corruption Corruption (ACC) has issued the statement.

And UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma has said that the Commonwealth team is not here to pass judgement but to collect evidence.

Speaking during a media briefing at the party secretariat, Mr. Kakoma said he was shocked to read that the Commonwealth has already passed judgement as quoted in the Post newspaper even before a report is done.

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