Tag Archives: Zambia

Kenya: The Kenyan Judiciary Strikes “Terror” Again in the Hearts of African Dictators

January 14, 2019

It is not too early to pass judgment that the Kenyan Judiciary along with the South African judiciary are the leading judicial lights in Africa in terms of exercising judicial autonomy and independence. This article deals with the very important decision by the Kenyan High Court on December 14, 2018 in relation to an opposition politician which demonstrates the significant advances in the calibre and independence of the Kenyan judiciary, a decision which is not conceivable anywhere else in Africa except South Africa.

The decision relates to one lawyer Miguna Miguna who was forcibly deported twice back to Canada by the Kenyan government on account that he was not a Kenyan citizen as he had allegedly lost his citizenship when the constitution was amended in 2010. In early 2018, the Kenyan government disobeyed all types of judicial orders to release Miguna who had been detained. They put him back in the plane twice and deported him.

Miguna started the long distance legal struggle from Canada to overturn government decisions and to make the government pay for the monumental human rights violations inflicted on him. He hired Kenyan lawyers who laboured without pay for their colleague. At long last, on December 14, the decision was handed down: the High Court judge Justice Mwitwa ruled that Miguna never lost his Kenyan citizenship which he had acquired by birth and that the government had committed egregious acts by revoking his passport and had further indulged in torturous violations of his human rights. They must immediately reinstate his passport and allow him back into Kenya.

On top of this, the High Court ruled that the taxpayers must not be saddled with paying the damages and costs awarded to Miguna, the damages and costs must be borne out personally by the individual officers involved: the Attorney General, the Immigration Chief, the relevant Police Inspector General and several other named officers. US$70,000. And costs. This is huge in Africa. This is revolutionary. Such orders are rare. The last recent one in Africa was when the South African High Court ordered that Zuma must pay for the costs of all legal actions that he was involved in while he was President but for crimes he had committed as an individual.

Governments have had the luxury of violating people’s rights and when and if orders were issued against governments to pay, the government’s either didn’t pay or paid because it was taxpayers money and the faceless individuals who violated someone’s rights didn’t feel the impact. If the government didn’t pay, it is difficult to determine whom to actually pursue. Governments acted with impunity. A government is faceless.




Kenya/Zambia: Zambia refuses entry to PLO Lumumba for ‘security’ reasons

September 29, 2018

Kenya Anti Corruption Commission director PLO Lumumba. PHOTO /  FILE

Kenyan law professor PLO Lumumba was on Saturday prevented from entering Zambia by the country’s immigration authorities.

A twitter post by Zambia’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson, Ms Dora Siliya, said Mr Lumumba was denied entry “due to security considerations”.


“[The government, through the] immigration [department] has denied entry into Zambia of Prof Patrick Lumumba, a Kenyan national, due to security considerations. Immigration is a security wing working with agencies within and beyond Zambia,” the minister said.

Media in Zambia said Mr Lumumba was sent back by Immigration officials shortly after landing at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka.

According to Lusaka Times, he “was due to deliver a public lecturer on China-Africa relations on Saturday night at Eden University”.









Zimbabwe/Zambia: Mnangagwa Soldiers Brutally Assault Biti’s Lawyer, Issue Death Threats

August 21, 2018

A human rights lawyer who accompanying MDC Alliance senior official Tendai Biti when he attempted to seek refuge in Zambia was severely beaten and had his car damaged by soldiers, a court heard on Monday.

 Graciano Chiweza who was assaulted &nearly abducted at Kamfinsa shopping center

Lawyers representing Biti said the lawyer, Unite Saize, was lucky to be alive after he was attacked for trailing behind the convoy which was bringing Biti back home after his escape bid flopped.

This emerged on the final day of the cross examination of the investigating officer (IO), Jealousy Mabasa.

Beatrice Mtetwa, for Biti, asked Mabasa: “What will be your comment if I put it to you that members of your team driving from Chirundu intercepted the car of the lawyer who was accompanying the accused and deflated his car tyres before they confiscated his phone and assaulted him while ordering him to strop trailing behind their convoy?”

Mabasa, however, denied the allegations saying nothing like that happened.

“We only stopped once during our journey. We stopped in Karoi to have our tyres serviced and never stopped again until we reached Harare,” he said.

“I will urge Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to investigate that crime if it happened.”





Zambia: The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of lawyer Oliver Holland in Zambia

May 10, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses grave concern about the arrest and detention of lawyer Oliver Holland in Zambia.

Oliver Holland is a lawyer at a UK-based law firm called Leigh Day. A solicitor in the international and group claims department, he works primarily on group actions against British multinational corporations where environmental damage has occurred. Currently, he is representing 1,800 Zambian villagers in a class action against the UK-based mining company Vedanta Resources plc and its Zambian subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). The lawsuit alleges that the companies, through their copper mining operations, are responsible for polluting the villagers’ water sources and farmland, as well as the resulting illness, death, and low crop yields.

According to reports, on January 10, 2017, Oliver Holland was arrested and taken into custody by Zambian authorities after meeting with his clients in their communities for the purposes of providing an update on their case. Mr. Holland reported that the arresting officers were driving a vehicle displaying the Konkola Copper Mines logo. He was initially charged under the Public Order Act, which prohibits meetings of more than three people without a police permit. This Act stems from colonial times and “is normally only used during election times by political parties”.   Later, the charge was changed to “unlawful assembly” under the Penal Code Act. He was detained at the Chingola Central Police Station for four hours without access to a lawyer, food or water. Ultimately, after he agreed to accept the reduced offence of “conduct likely to cause a breach of peace”, a misdemeanour for which he paid a fine of ZMK50 ($5), he was released.

The Law Society is deeply concerned about the treatment of Oliver Holland. Given the nature of his work as a lawyer and the number of clients involved in the lawsuit, the only feasible way to keep his clients apprised is via group meetings involving 100-150 people. The charges, whether under the Public Order Act, Penal Code Act, or even the misdemeanour that he was ultimately forced to accept, were not grounded on an act or omission that could reasonably be considered criminal. They were thus improper and may have constituted an abuse of process.


http://www.lsuc.on.ca/newsarchives.aspx?id=2147485737&cid=2147503800&langtype=1036 (FRANCAIS)

Zambia: Zambian judge demands probe into attacks on lawyers

April 20, 2017

Zambian judge demands probe into attacks on lawyers

A court in Zambia on Thursday ordered an investigation into claims that lawyers for opposition figures accused of treason have been attacked and harassed.

Vincent Malambo, a lawyer for United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema, said the defendants’ legal representatives had been harassed since taking on the case.

“One lawyer has since gone into hiding after an attack at his home last night,” Malambo told the court in capital Lusaka, referring to fellow lawyer Keith Mweemba.

“This is a serious matter that needs serious ruling and order to protect lawyers and their families.”

Hichilema was arrested at his home on April 10. He is accused with five other UPND officials of treason over an incident two days earlier when they allegedly blocked President Edgar Lungu’s motorcade as it passed through Mongu, a town 500 kilometers (310 miles) west of Lusaka.


Zambia/UK: IBAHRI concerned by arrest of human rights lawyers in Zambia

January 30, 2017

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute is concerned by the recent arrest of human rights lawyer Oliver Holland in Zambia. Mr Holland, a lawyer with London-based law firm Leigh Day, was escorted to Chingola Central Police Station and detained without charge after conducting meetings with clients of a class action lawsuit in Zambia on Tuesday 10 January.

Mr Holland was meeting with clients from village communities regarding a lawsuit filed by 1,800 Zambian villagers against UK-based mining multinational Vedanta Resources and its Zambia-based subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). Both companies have been accused by villagers of being responsible for polluting their water sources and farm land, resulting in illness, death and low crop yields.

Mr Holland was initially detained under the Public Order Act which prohibits meetings of more than three people without a police permit. However, the very nature of Mr Holland’s work – representing 1,800 villagers with limited access to alternative means of communication – requires that he update his clients via group meetings involving around 100 to 150 people at a time.

After being detained for four hours, Mr Holland was informed that he was instead charged under the Penal Code Act for Unlawful Assembly. Upon being offered to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanour and a fine if he agreed to the offence, Mr Holland accepted and was released.

The Commanding Officer of the Police Station informed Mr Holland that he would have to seek a police permit before meeting with his clients in future. In order for Mr Holland to consult his clients the next day he was required to not only request a permit, but also consent to the presence of an undercover armed police officer at the meetings.





Zambia: Zambian opposition party lawyer arrested – report

September 20, 2016

The lawyer of Zambia’s main opposition, the United Party for National Development (UPND) has been arrested for allegedly being in possession of subversive materials, said a report on Tuesday.

According to the Lusaka Times, the Lusaka based lawyer, Martha Mushipe, was found to be in possession of a “confidential document entitled Strategy of domination PF against opposition UPND 2015 – 2016 and beyond” which among others involved use of violence against the opposition.

The document was allegedly compiled by former Justice Minister Dr Ngosa Simbyakula and two others who were not identified.

Mushipe has since been denied bail, but according to her lawyers they would be going to the Lusaka Magistrate Court to secure her release.

This came just a week after Edgar Lungu was sworn in for his second term as the southern African country’s president.

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema dismissed the ceremony as “Illegal and unconstitutional”.

Lungu, who first took power last year following the death of Micheal Sata, won the August 11 election by around 100 000 votes. Hichilema, however, alleged that the result was riddled with fraud.


Zambia: IBAHRI calls on President Lungu of Zambia to respect fair trial standards in tribunal of DPP

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) calls on President Edgar Lungu of Zambia to respect fair trial standards and ensure that the tribunal set up to probe the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mutembo Nchito SC, on alleged abuse of authority charges be completely transparent.

Mr Nchito was arrested at his home in Lusaka on Thursday 12 February, after Chongwe Magistrates’ Court (CMC) issued a warrant for his arrest for alleged misconduct and violation of the laws of Zambia. This was the result of a complaint filed by former deputy Minister for Finance Newton Nguni before the CMC. The alleged offences are purported to have been committed in Lusaka, which is outside of the CMC’s territorial jurisdiction. As such, the Lusaka High Court has ordered a stay of the arrest warrant and declared the arrest to be null and void, stating that the CMC, as the lower tribunal, had no competences over the issue.