The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) condemns in the strongest terms the unprofessional and brutal behavior by the Zambia Police against National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader, Dr. Chishimba Kambwili’s wife and daughter at the Magistrate Courts on Tuesday, 20th October 2020.
The Republican Constitution guarantees citizen’s right to dignity and against all forms of inhuman and torturous treatment. To undress a woman in the manner the police did to Mrs. Kambwili is not only an assault on her dignity but a collective assault on all Zambian women. Regardless of the crime one is accused of committing, they are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty by a competent court. Therefore the brutality and heavy-handedness by the overzealous police officers against the defenseless and unarmed women is totally unacceptable. To torture and dehumanize Mrs. Kambwili and the daughter in that manner is criminal. Clearly, from the video that has gone viral the behavior of the police is devoid of any civility and professionalism expected of the Police Service.
We therefore demand an apology from the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kakoma Kanganja, and the immediate prosecution of the officers that behaved in a barbaric manner as captured in the videos which are circulating on online platforms. The conduct of the officers is far short of the set principles of public service and specifically the Police Code of Conduct. It is NGOCC’s expectation that the Police must act according to their call of service in providing law and order and resolve to maintain civility when dealing with citizens.
If this is the kind of police action that our democracy shall now be exposed to, NGOCC has cause to worry how the Zambia Police is preparing to handle the 2021 General Elections. The Police Service has a lot of work to do in order to enhance the professional conduct of our women and men in uniform. The examples shown so far in many aspects leave majority citizens concerned. Just recently we witnessed videos of cadres of a named political party damaging a motor vehicle of one opposition political party in full view of the police.
Once again, the duty of the Zambia Police is to protect citizens and ensure that at every point the human rights and indeed women’s rights of all Zambians are upheld.
Engwase B. Mwale