Prominent South Africa based Zambian lawyer Prof Michello Hansungule has written to that country’s president Jacob Zuma to lecture his counterpart Edgar Lungu on democracy.
President Lungu is on a state visit to South Africa.
Prof Michello who lectures at University of Pretoria in his letter has given an account of human rights violations and has demanded that Lungu’s regime must be made to account to.
Below is the Professor’s letter which he also availed to Zambian Eye on Thursday:
Dear President Jacob Zuma,
Mr. President, kindly ask your guest President Edgar Lungu to order police officers in Zambia to immediately charge and prosecute those officers who shot dead young opposition UPND activist Mapenzi Chibulo way back in July this year. This murder has up now never been accounted for yet the killers of this young girl are widely known as the murder took place on open streets during the day. As long as this and other similar murders are not investigated and put to rest, PF hands are soiled in blood.
President Lungu must cease acts of torture of political opponents particularly UPND members and supporters. The ruling PF in Zambia is orchestrating strange primitive politics based on ethnic incitement against UPND supporters thereby driving the historically peaceful country to the brink of genocide of all those opposed to the ruling party. As party the Rome Statute, Zambian leaders including President Lungu are open in their personal capacity to prosecutions at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and at other jurisdictions like South Africa for serious violations of international criminal law. Mr. President should remind President Lungu that ethnic incitement against certain groups or individuals for belonging to particular tribes is international crime prosecutable at the ICC and at other democratic jurisdictions where local jurisdiction is unable or unwilling to prosecute.
Senior PF and government officials have openly spoken against people from ethnic groups perceived to support opposition UPND which has fostered an environment in which PF party cadres have attacked UPND supporters including elderly women and men resulting in widespread torture, ethnic incitement and complete division of the country into primitive divisions along tribal lines.
Zambians hosted South Africans peacefully for all the dark years of apartheid without the silly stupid things that are currently going on in Zambia. The Motto One Zambia One nation guided Zambians in welcoming their sisters and brothers and in living together as peaceful people. This is being threatened by stupid and primitive leaders in the ruling party who unable to comprehend modern challenges that come with governing resort to primitive means of winning votes through extreme tribalism. All the names of senior government and PF officials that have made vitriolic comments against those perceived to belong to opposition are known and so are their statements.
Mr. President should remind your guest the consequences of such actions and call on him to reign in the most barbaric of his supporters to ensure peace, stability and development, the three pillars the country has been following since independence.
Mr. President should urge your host to open up media space by restoring the vibrant media and not abuse his position to clamp down on independent media. You are ruling a country, Mr. President, which prides itself with the most independent media. Even compared to the west, South African media enjoys freedom as per constitution. The media in this country has written about you Mr. President in ways that cannot not be imagined in other African countries. Zambians deserve no less. In modern society, free media is sine qua non for development. Mr. President, tell Edgar Lungu that Zambians don’t want the current fear in Zambia to not be reported in the media. Zambians want an open society executive, judicial and legislative lapses will be freely reported and read.
Prof. Michelo Hansungule
University of Pretoria