HRC calls  for dialogue to ease tension

Wed, 05 Apr 2017 11:03:06 +0000



POLITICAL dialogue is necessary in a multi-party democracy as a means of mitigating excessive di-vergent or different views in the national interest, Human Rights Commission (HRC) chairperson Mudford Mwandenga has said.

Mr Mwandenga said the commission was concerned at the prevailing political animosity between the large political parties that had continued to negatively affect the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

He said it was the considered view of the HRC that the continued violations of individual rights such as the right to life, protection from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, among other things, were symptoms of deep-rooted political grievances that need to be addressed through political dialogue. Mr Mwandenga said it must be appreciated that the continued political hostility was endangering the maintenance of peace, law and order, as well as grossly undermining the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

He said time to act was now and political party leaders must reach out to each other for the sake of the citizenry. Mr Mwandenga said it would be a grave mistake to hope that the current political animosity and sup-pression of human rights and freedoms would be resolved through threats and counter-threats or public condemnation statements without dialoguing and subordinating personal and partisan interests to na-tional interests.

He noted that the frequency of losing lives through politically related circumstances was extremely saddening and the country must not accept such a situation as normal, ‘‘and continue as business as usual without taking practical steps to redress such grave human rights violations’’.

“It is therefore strongly recommended that the PF and UPND leadership must open up dialogue and resolve the outstanding issues contributing to the hostile political environment.

‘‘The situation as the Human Rights Commission sees it, calls for magnanimous, candid and selfless political decisions, efforts and commitment of high ranking political leaders to face each other around the table for the sake of peace and protection of the rights of individuals,” he said


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