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‘We found Banda with his three wives,’ Rights Commission says lawmaker not denied access to family


The Human Rights Commission has called on the police to expedite investigations into the reported abduction of Petauke Central lawmaker Emmanuel Jay Banda.

The Commission urged the Police to collaborate with medical officers at Maina Soko Military Hospital as well as Banda’s family members.

Mweelwa Muleya, the Commission Spokesperson, stated in a release issued in Lusaka on Tuesday that this collaboration was crucial to ensure that Banda does not remain admitted longer than necessary and to expedite his psychological healing.

Muleya revealed that the Commission visited Banda on Tuesday morning at Maina Soko Military Hospital after he was found in Kafue.

“The Commission was concerned about the reports because any patient or person held in custody has the right to be visited and communicate with family members, legal representatives and medical officers,” he said.

Muleya said that officers and medical personnel at Maina Soko Military Hospital confirmed that at no time did they refuse any family member to visit or communicate with Banda.

“The Commission had an opportunity to interact with Mr. Banda and found all his three wives by his bedside,” Muleya stated.

Additionally, Muleya mentioned that Banda himself confirmed that his family members were allowed to visit him from the time he was admitted.

He stated that Banda, who narrated his abduction ordeal, explained that he was tortured, particularly under the feet, but the pain was subsiding and he was now able to freely walk unlike when he was admitted.

“He commended the professional conduct of medical officers at Maina Soko Military Hospital from the time he was admitted.

“However, he expressed the desire to reunite with his family, particularly his children, preferably ‘at the farm,'” Muleya said.

Muleya further noted that the abduction of Banda sowed seeds of discord in the country, a situation that had the potential to result in widespread human rights violations if not promptly addressed.

Read More: Banda’s family cries out over alleged denial by Lusaka Police to access injured lawmaker at Military Hospital

“Therefore, there is an urgent need to expeditiously, but thoroughly, investigate the matter and subject the perpetrators to the due process of the law in order to end impunity for the dreadful criminal act of abduction,” Muleya emphasized.

He called on the State to improve communication with the family members of Banda and the nation at large to ensure understanding that the measures being undertaken were in their best interest and not meant to victimise them.

Police in Lusaka had launched an investigation into the disappearance of Banda under unclear circumstances but he was later discovered in Kafue after reportedly being dumped by his abductors.

Police Spokesperson. Rae Hamoonga stated that a concerned member of the public from Meanwood Ibex had reported an abandoned motor vehicle via phone on May 25, 2024, at 03:30 hours.

He said the vehicle was found 2.6 km west of the Ibex Police Station, with its engine running, doors unlocked, lights on, and the right side of the windscreen shattered.

“Inside the vehicle, officers found two phones and a written note stating, ‘DEAR ZAMBIANS, I AM VERY SORRY. PLEASE FORGIVE ME AND STAY BLESSED. HON JAY BANDA MP,’” Hamoonga stated.

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