EU demands for the immediate release of HH

Filed under: Breaking News |

HH in the dock

One of the major financing block to the Zambian government has demanded for the immediate release of the incarcerated UPND President Hakainde Hichilema and engage him in constructive dialogue that lead to reforms at ECZ, ZNBC, Public Order Act, and respect for rule of law and order in the country.

European Parliament resolution on Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema (2017/2681(RSP)) B8‑0365/2017

The European Parliament,

-having regard to previous resolutions on Zambia,

-having regard to the statement of 16 April 2017 by the EEAS spokesperson on political tensions in Zambia,

-having regard to the European Union Election Observation Mission Final Report on the General Elections in Zambia, presented 11 August 2016

-having regard to the African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights,

-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

-having regard to the Zambian Constitution,

-having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.Whereas Hakainde Hichilema is the leader of the main opposition party in Zambia, United Party for National Development (UPND); Whereas after the presidential election in August 2016 Hichilema was narrowly defeat by President Lungo the UPND contested the legitimacy of the election results and the independence of the judiciary but the complaint was dismissed without being heard in court;

B.Whereas Hakainde Hichilema is accused of having disobeyed police orders on 8 April 2017 having allegedly having failed to move his convoy in order to give way for the presidential motorcade travelling the same road; whereas Hichilema rejects these accusations;

C.Whereas on 11 April 2017, armed police raided Hakainde Hichilema´s home and arrested him and five of his employees and charged them with treason;

D.Whereas the penalty for treason, which is a non-bailable offence in Zambia, ranges from a minimum of 15 years in jail to the death penalty; whereas NGO´s have condemned the conflation of the charge which ought to be no more than a traffic felony;

E.Whereas human rights groups have reported claims from the detainees of excessive violence and torture in conjunction with the arrest;

F.Whereas an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) was present in Zambia between 29 June and 12 September 2016, following invitations from the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Electoral Commission of Zambia deploying 124 observers across the country making it the largest international observation mission for the elections;

G.Whereas the the European Union EOM delivered its final report on 11 August 2016 stating that the 2016 general elections were highly competitive and prepared in a largely professional manner, but both major political parties made statements that inflamed tensions during the campaign leading to several serious incidents of violence;

H.Whereas recently political tensions have increased in Zambia in connection to the arrest of Hichilema resulting in protests, violent clashes and increasing political tension in the country, particularly in Choma and Solwezi, where he gathers most political supporters;

I.whereas both the EU and the United States have condemned the incarceration of the opposition leader and called for a peaceful dialogue between the government and the UPND to ease the tensions that have grown between the two parties;

J.whereas on 27 March 2017, the Zambian government began public consultations on the country’s International Criminal Court membership; whereas Hichilema publicly declared he would actively stop any withdrawal procedure;

1.Is concerned at the continuing incarceration of Hakainde Hichilema and calls for him to be released. Notes with concern reports of political motivation in relation to the charges and therefore urges the Zambian judiciary to demonstrate independence from political interference; Underlines that all detainees should be afforded access to legal redress, healthcare and visiting rights.

2.Reminds the Zambian government of their obligations to guarantee fundamental rights and the rule of law, including access to justice and the right to a fair trial, as provided for in the African Charter, and other international and regional human rights instruments;

3.Recalls that the respect for freedom of association and assembly are fundamental to any democratic society and guaranteed by the Zambian Constitution, and that excessive force in response to peaceful protests should be avoided in all circumstances;

4.Recalls that following the 2016 general election, the EU election observation mission final report noted that a detailed review of the electoral legal framework and redrafting of unclear, ambiguous and conflicting provisions should be carried out as well as the removal of overly restrictive limitations of freedom of assembly in the Public Order Act and that the transformation of ZNBC into a public service broadcaster with full editorial independence from government, and enhanced oversight of the Electoral Commission of Zambia of the public media.

5.Calls on the EU to make use of all available political means, including at the highest level, to encourage and assist Zambia’s commitment to make such reforms and to uphold the highest standards of human rights, the rule of law and democracy;

6.Insists on the urgent necessity of a peaceful and constructive dialogue between the Patriotic Front and the UPND in order to restore political stability and trust; welcomes, in this regard, the Human Rights Commission’s call for a dialogue to tackle political violence and prevent continued violations of human rights and freedoms;

7.Expresses concern that the government’s openness to dialogue and national reconciliation is conditioned by the acceptance by all opposition parties of the outcome of the 2016 elections; urges the Zambian President to engage in talks with its opponents without delay;

8.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Commission Vice-President / EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Co‑Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the African Union Commission and the Pan-African Parliament, the Zambian Government and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.…


10 Responses to EU demands for the immediate release of HH

  1. leave us along

    benjamin maunda
    May 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    • thinkng capacity z law

      May 19, 2017 at 8:15 pm

  2. Lungu thought by manipulating the Petition Hearing Process the Petition was dead. Well the Petition is very much alive. Nine months after the 2016 Election the Petition is unheard but very much alive. Lungu regrets directing Concourt to “dismiss”the Petition and that illegal dismissal has come to haunt Lungu. Lungu must be regretting raiding HH’s home in a Barbaric manner and this too has come to haunt Lungu. Arresting HH and imprisoning HH on Trumped Up Treason charges must be another mistake by Lungu and its backfiring.It seems Lungu has no choice but to release HH unconditionally from Jail and embark on some form of Dialogue with HH and UPND. The starting point is to Hear the Petition and determine who actually won the 2016 Election. The Petition Hearing is a minefield becoz Lungu knows that he did not win the Election and UPND has ovewhelming evidence to show that Lungu stole their Election Victory and besides Lungu abrogated the Zambian Constitution during the Petition Hearing Process. Lungu is between a Rock and a hard place. The AU and SADC needs to intervene and save Zambia from a potential Civil War. Time will tell.

    May 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm

  3. You are correct chola

    May 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm

  4. Zambia has ten provinces nt jst three!

    May 19, 2017 at 8:34 pm

  5. If hh was in USA he wldnt hv accepted the election outcome lyk hillary dd? Blessed are the people who accept defeat. Is t bcoz they are civilized?

    May 19, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    • Iwe Uli icikopo – where do you originate from we shilu we ? What nine provinces are you talking about ? Let me tell you the truth in case you are either deaf, blind or an insane. Edgar Lungu never won in all the seven provinces you are talking about except may be in the Luapula, Muchinga, Northern and Eastern provinces. He did not out rightly win on the Copperbelt, Central and Lusaka Provinces that’ s why he opted to stealing by using his state agents. You just support Edgar Lungu may be because he is either your drinking mate, a brother or a cousin. UPND scooped some parliamentary seats on the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces including the presidential seat but Edgar Lungu through his crooked, thuggery agents stole the votes and went away with what did not belong to them. Iwe ka mambala, you flock churches every day with your Edgar Lungu with those tuma fake pastors and bishops but you tend to ignore one among the ten commandments of God which says ”Thou shalt not steal”. And your Lungu is a thief, a robber, a kaponya and you have blatantly failed to convince him that what he did is wrong in the eyes of God, so what sort of help are you to him ?

      Mushipi Chikwemba
      May 20, 2017 at 8:37 am

      • you are right mushipi

        May 20, 2017 at 8:52 am

  6. Imwe baba don’t compare America with Zambian.In America the winer was anouced sameday while in Zambia it took a month so let the petition be heard so that we see who was defeated period.

    May 20, 2017 at 8:47 am

  7. Our Electoral laws provide for the lodging of a Petition with Concourt within 7 days. This HH & GBM did and the Petition was accepted by Concourt. The Hearing of the Petition was abandoned controversially and illegally on account of Time Lapsing. However Concourt has no Legal Authority to dismiss the Petition. Concourt’s mandate is to Hear the Petition,determine it and then declare the Winner of the Election duly elected President of Zambia. Lungu was not declared Winner of the Election and duly elected President.Lungu’s Presidency is therefore illegitimate and the Petition is very much alive in Court. It is ridiculous on the part of illegitimate Lungu to insist that HH should withdraw the Petition and recognize him as a Legitimate President as a condition to be released from Jail.There are no compelling reasons for HH to recognize illegality and besides there is no evidence that HH committed Treason. The solution is for Lungu to release HH from Jail uncondirionally,drop the Trumped Treason charges and let the Petition be heard in Court. An Impartial Court must hear the Petition,determine it and declare one of the 2 Candidates Winner of the Election and duly elected President. Both Lungu and HH must accept the Court’s Final Verdict. This is the only way to resolve the impasse and the AU and SADC must facilitate the mediation and the Hearing of the Petition. Period.

    May 20, 2017 at 12:44 pm

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