Just kill me, Prof Hansungule dares Zambian government

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Prof Hansungule

Just kill me, I will not stop talking, Zambian South Africa based law Professor Michelo Hansungule has dared the government in Zambia.

Responding to government using it’s High Commissioner Emmanuel Mwamba to complain at Pretoria University where he lectures, Prof Hansungule charged that it is impossible to silence him.

He said this in a statement below availed to Zambian Eye:

In relation to Prof. Nicholson and Prof. Frans’ questions, I aver as follows:

1. For reasons I shall elaborate on in more detail below, I have since withdrawn the letter from the two recipients and replaced it with one not on CHR headed paper attached herein.

2. Without prejudice to 1 above, I sincerely apologise for the use of the CHR headed paper and personally commit that it will never happen again. 
3. As elaborated on below, in the incident aqua, it was an error of judgment that CHR letter head was used and it is regrettable.

Historical context

4. For a long time now, I have been participating in public discourse on human rights and governance in Zambia and Africa generally in Zambian media. I did so while I was based at the University of Zambia, Raol Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Lund in Sweden and since I joined the Center for Human Rights, here at the University of Pretoria. At the University of Pretoria, I was inspired to take an even more active participation in canvassing public issues on learning that academics were required to engage in community service as part of their conditions of service. Besides making presentations to various stakeholders in and outside Africa including politicians, government officials, judges, lawyers, law teachers, students, non-governmental organizations, journalists, faith based organizations, women’s groups and others, I keenly wrote opinion papers making plain my views on critical social, political, economic and issues.

5. In addition, as part of this community engagement, I represent individual victims of human rights violations before various treaty bodies including the defunct SADC Tribunal, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Human Rights Committee at the United Nations, African Committee on the Rights of the Child, and as in the case aqua, non-conventional United Nations bodies and institutions.

6. For example, I have three communications before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights I filed on instructions from Rwanda community members against Rwanda. In one such case yet to be determined by Court, several Rwandans living in South Africa had their passports arbitrarily cancelled by Rwanda government on suspicion they belonged to opposition which is a crime (divisionism) in Rwanda. Acting together with my LLM students, I was first person to bring the maiden communication (Hansungule versus Uganda) before the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child seeking remedies against the child in northern Uganda which was affected by a long war in which children were forcibly recruited into armed conflict or forcible marriages both by rebel and government forces, Committee found in our favour and made a series of recommendations against Uganda. On instruction, I brought a communication before the African Commission against Swaziland (now eSwatin) in which I demanded reinstatement of a High Court judge who was arbitrarily dismissed from the bench by the King on trumped up charges by a former Chief Justice who had a born to chew with him and whom (Chief Justice) later the King dismissed.

7. As spirited public defender, I have submitted complaints to the Zambian Chief Justice, Zambian Director of Public Prosecutions, Speaker of the Zambian Parliament, Zambia’s Permanent Human Rights Commission, Lusaka City Council, Zambia’s Anti-Corruption Commission, Zambia’s Commission of Lands, Zambia’s Electoral Commission, Human Rights Council in Geneva, etc. These complaints raised public issues or issues affecting members of the public including tribalism in Zambia fostered by current government, alleged corruption of senior officials in government, alleged commission of treason by current president when he breached the constitution and refused to hand over power to the Speaker of Parliament after opposition filed an election petition challenging the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, as provided by the constitution, three Constitutional Court Judges repudiating their own unanimous judgment delivered in an open Court just two days earlier [without the courtesy to invite two of their colleagues including the Court president], etc.

8. In all these and similar cases I’ve not mentioned, I acted in my personal capacity or on behalf of clients I represented, even then in my personal capacity. Petitions filed in Zambia were widely reported in Zambian media which assisted generate wide discourses on governance, democracy, rule of law, constitutionalism and human rights. Of course government has not liked most of the discourse because my petitions and submissions either were against them, their officials or persons or questioned their decisions and in any case did not praise them.

9. I must say though on the positive side that I bear neither grudge nor anger against anyone in government. All I want is good government and greater respect for human rights for citizens. Proof of this is that last year, I single handedly facilitated three workshops on state party reporting under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Maputo Protocol. The workshops, which attracted scores of senior government and non-governmental officials were funded by the Center for human Rights and had no problem with interacting with senior politicians in negotiating relevant approvals and sanctions for the officials and events. I believe we did an excellent job finally coming up with a draft report which, however, is yet to be validated before submission to the African Commission for examination.

10. But according to the media, Mr. Mwamba, the Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa, is a very dangerous person. The media portrays him as one of president Edgar Lungu’s trusted allies and together with a small group is responsible for rigging the 2016 election in favour of the president. I have several times been warned to be careful about him that there wasn’t anything that he could not do. Beyond the character presented in the media, however, I don’t know him.

Nevertheless, I have told myself and told him that he cannot intimidate me into silence. In my letter to him, I told him that the best he can do to silence me is to kill me. As long as I live, I will speak my mind and assist people regardless.

11. In the letter to the University Rector, Mr. Mwamba claimed that I continuously use my position and facilities of the University to raise things against his government suggesting that the issues I portray are personal or private.

I have thought long and hard on this, and am still thinking. Besides this petition to the UNDP, I cannot remember when else I used my position and University facilities in making public my opinions? Because I am deeply troubled by this accusation, I wrote Mr. Mwamba asking him to clarify what he means? After much thought and before he replies, I thought perhaps he is referring to CHR public statements we have made on developments in Zambia?

If this is the case, then he is grossly misled. Though I agreed with them, nevertheless, I did not participate in most of the statement by the CHR issued on Zambia.

The only one I participated in was when the CHR called on Zambian government to release HH from prison where as indicated he was held without trial on trumped up charges of treason. This statement was first drafted by a CHR student showed to the Director who handed it to me to edit or suggest otherwise. After my additions together with that of another of our LLD student, the statement was published to the CHR website. Because I don’t remember of any other incident, he might be referring to, I want him to assist me understand him so that I can also address it.


7 Responses to Just kill me, Prof Hansungule dares Zambian government

  1. How people struggle to make themselves irrelevant.

    April 28, 2018 at 8:31 pm

  2. Educated but highly illiterate.

    April 28, 2018 at 8:54 pm

  3. Don’t think if you killed you will come back coz you guys who are learned you think you can return to earth once slaughtered like a chicken

    Mike kalonje
    April 28, 2018 at 9:44 pm


    April 28, 2018 at 10:27 pm

  5. Kill you or what bwana!!!!Just continue with your teaching at that precious university.Pls remember not to use their letter head again fr your personal opinions…continue writing…no Zambian can kill you…we are here back home enjoying ourselves…we dont kill….

    dc 10.
    April 28, 2018 at 11:06 pm

  6. Kill you for what bwana!!!!Just continue with your teaching at that prestigious university.Pls remember not to use their letter head again fr your personal opinions…continue writing…no Zambian can kill you…we are here back home enjoying. ourselves…we dont kill….if anything the police are here to protect you..

    dc 10.
    April 28, 2018 at 11:09 pm


    April 29, 2018 at 6:37 pm

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