Power and Politics

Rights commission suspends director, calls on victims of human rights abuses to report cases


The Board of Commissioners of the Human Rights Commission has announced the suspension of the Commission Director, Sindiso Sichone.

According to the Board, the suspension of Sichone was meant to facilitate an independent disciplinary process against her.

Board of Commissioners Chairperson, Dr Pamela Sambo, acted on behalf of the Commissioners in the communications to arrive at the decision to suspend Sichone.

Sambo stated that various internal documents relating to the disciplinary process had been availed to some selected media institutions.

She said in the interest of confidentiality relating to the employer-employee relationship and common decorum, the Commission would, however, not delve into the details for the disciplinary action against Sichone.

“Further, the Commissioners wish to refute the unfounded allegations that there was an external influence in their unanimous decision to institute independent disciplinary measures against the Director,” Sambo stated.

She said the Commissioners were empowered by the Human Rights Commission Act, Chapter 48 of the Laws of Zambia, to provide oversight on the operations of the Commission and are the Director’s supervisory employers.

Sambo added that the disciplinary hearing was conducted in an independent, professional, impartial and non-discriminatory manner in accordance with the well-established ethos of the Commission.

Read More: Human Rights Commission fighting UPND battles, should be disbanded —Opposition parties

“The Commissioners wish to assure all stakeholders and members of the public that the disciplinary process against the suspended Director has not in anyway affected its operations,” she stated.

She further encouraged victims of human rights violations and abuses to continue reporting and/or following up such cases with the Commission.

“Unless it becomes absolutely necessary and justifiable, the Commissioners will not comment any further on this matter as it is currently before the Attorney-General, who is representing the Commission and Sichone’s legal representatives,” Sambo said.

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