Picture; Patriotic Front Member of the Central Committee, Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) for medical examination and treatment, shortly after he was released on Friday at 19hrs. The injuries and bruises are still visible three days after the Police assaulted him.


There is increasing unlawful use of force under this UPND government of Mr Hakainde Hichilema.

Previously, it was Mr Chilufya Tayali complaining about being beaten by police officers under the direction of Mr Fanwell Siandenge, the Deputy Inspector General of Police at State House and his hit squad headed by Mwala Yuyi. Today it is Mr Emmanuel Mwamba complaining of similar brutality and carrying the scars or marks of their cruelty.

This police brutality is illegal and can end in death, injury, and devastation. As we’ve seen too many times, here and elsewhere, sometimes police kill or seriously injure people during arrests fuelled by political prejudice and hatred.

All too often, police officers who kill or injure people after using force unlawfully are not brought to justice. We need to make sure that police stop using force against the law, and that those who injure, maim or kill unlawfully are brought to account – no more excuses.

Under the law, police officers should only ever use lethal force as a last resort. This means when such force is strictly necessary to protect themselves or others from an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only when other options for de-escalation are insufficient.

Many cases of police brutality that we have seen so far clearly do not meet this criteria.

But what is the reason for this police brutality? There is a combination of factors, including poor leadership, inadequate laws, ethnic, political or other forms of discrimination, insecurity or conflict, and entrenched impunity.

Governments that routinely trample on other human rights, such as freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, often authorise heavy-handed police responses to criticism, protests and demonstrations.

Impunity for the police in these situations often leads to a deadly cycle of brutality. But how many people must be brutalised by the police before our human rights defenders, both statutory and voluntary, can speak out?

Fred M’membe
President of the Socialist Party


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