Power and Politics

Outcry over continued detention of party leader, Tembo, as activist faults Hichilema on human rights


Governance activist, Isaac Mwanza, has condemned the continued detention of Sean Tembo, president of the Patriots for Economic Progress (PEP), who has already been charged with hate speech.

Police in Lusaka last week arrested and charged Tembo with hate speech and detained him at Balmoral Police Station in Chilanga.

Mwanza told Zambia Monitor through an audio chat in Lusaka on Monday that the detention raised concerns about the respect for the rule of law and individual rights

He urged the police to uphold the principles of justice, fairness and respect for human rights, as it had always been outlined by President Hakainde Hichilema’s directives.

“It is essential to remember that in a democracy that values the rule of law, individuals accused of non-violent misdemeanours, like hate speech, should be granted the opportunity for bail,” Mwanza said.

He said denying Tembo access to police bond or court-ordered bail, especially when the offense was bailable, not only raised questions about the due process but also goes against the principles of justice and fairness.

Mwanza said Hichilema’s commitment to upholding the rule of law should extend to all citizens, regardless of their political beliefs or speech.

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“We recently saw Egyptians who were appearing in court at night in a fast-tracked court system but the same is not extended to citizens like Tembo,” he said.

Mwanza said respect for the rights and freedoms of individuals, including the right to a fair trial and bail for bailable offenses, was fundamental in maintaining just and democratic society.

“I urge the police to consider Hichilema’s guidance on granting bail for bailable offenses, as this promotes a fair and inclusive society where all citizens are treated equitably under the law,” he said.

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