Vespers Shimunzhila’s killing is a very serious human rights violation issue.
And the Human Rights Commission should come in strongly to probe it.
Vespers had a right to live, and not be killed in that brutal way.
The right to life is a moral principle based on the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not be killed by another human being.
The International Human Rights Standards for Law Enforcement has created a system whereby it is recognised that
international human rights law is binding upon all State actors, and that said State actors must know and be capable of applying international standards for human rights. The right to life is for the most part an inalienable right granted to every human upon earth.
Article 2 of the Human Rights Act protects your right to life.
This means that nobody, including the government, can try to end your life. It also means the government should take appropriate measures to safeguard life by making laws to protect you and, in some circumstances, by taking steps to protect you if your life is at risk.
Public authorities should also consider your right to life when making decisions that might put you in danger or that affect your life expectancy.
If a member of your family dies in circumstances that involve the state, you may have the right to an investigation. The state is also required to investigate suspicious deaths and deaths in custody.
Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally, save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which the penalty is provided by law.
The right is also contained in Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights:
Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person. No one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right.
This right is one of the most important of the Convention since, without the right to life, it is impossible to enjoy the other rights.
The right to life protects our right not to be unlawfully killed by the government or its agents. It means that the Government cannot legally take someone’s life except for in a few very limited cases. It also imposes a positive duty on the state to protect life and to investigate deaths that happen when people are in their custody.
If someone dies through the actions of the state or when in the state’s control – including when in police stations, prisons, or hospitals – the state has to investigate these deaths properly. This is to determine the cause of death and hold those responsible to account.
Edgar Lungu has constructed for himself a police that serves all his interests and protects his hold on power.
Promotion in the police is not based on one’s professional standing but on how committed one is seen to be committed to Edgar’s schemes. Today, the Zambia Police, at all levels, is dominated by Patriotic Front cadres out to crush anyone who is seen to be standing in Edgar’s way.
The rights of citizens mean nothing to them, what matters and reigns are the interests of Edgar and his minions. Our whole judicial system is filled with ruthless elements out to do Edgar’s bidding.
This is certainly not a recipe for governing well. The entire judicial process has been circumvented to serve criminal interests. With this being the order of the day, killings and abuses will continue unabated. How else can they rule this country in such a corrupt and abusive way?
But where and how will all this end?
Edgar and his minions will not only have to answer for corruption but also for these killings and other abuses of human rights when they leave power.