The United Party for National Development (UPND) has strongly criticised police treatment of the party’s deputy secretary general for politics, Patrick Mucheleka, after footage emerged of officers flogging Mucheleka and two others as they appeared at Kasama Magistrates Court for trial.

Writing in today’s Lusaka Times, the UPND said it was “disturbed” at the treatment of Mr Mucheleka and his co-accused, noting that police officers in Zambia had taken to “the habitual mistreatment of suspects … even when such trials were in open court”.

The statement went on to remind the police that Zambia is aa signatory to the UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) and as such officers should refrain from such “harsh, cruel and degrading treatment”.

“PF cadres involved in criminal cases have been handled with so much compassion despite the gravity of the cases involved,” the statement concluded.

Mr Mucheleka, alongside Elias Mubanga and Samuel Ngwira, stands accused of aggravated robbery and malicious damage after allegedly stealing National Registration Card (NRC) issuance equipment in Lukashya and firing a gun to scare away registration workers.

His trial has been adjourned until 13 October at the earliest, until which time he will continue to be detained at Milima state correctional facility.

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema voiced his displeasure at Mr Mucheleka continuing to be denied justice, writing:

“One is innocent until proven guilty. In our country, it’s the other way round and having gone through this dehumanising process before, we can attest that justice delayed is justice denied. We wish our Deputy Secretary General, Patrick Mucheleka and his dear colleagues God’s protection.”


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