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LUBINDA THUMBS DOWN AMNESTY REPORT ON ZAMBIA

By NAMO PHIRI

FORMER Ministers of Justice Given Lubinda and Raphael Nakachinda have  brushed off a report  from Amnesty International claiming that Zambia has a questionable human rights record.

And former Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Minister Raphael Nakacinda has said Amnesty International is a propaganda tool of the UPND, so its bickering must be ignored by all well-meaning Zambians,.

Mr Lubinda, a long serving cabinet minister and legislator has also implored the NGO to encourage states that are doing well rather than paint “every African country with the same brush of impunity.”

He was speaking after AI, a notorious NGO with a propensity of doing damning reports of Africa launched its 2021 report on Zambia on Monday.

In its report widely seen as biased by many analysts, AI accused the government of President Lungu of all manner of atrocities starting from extra judicial killings to unlawful arrests including suppression of private media.

Mr Lubinda said AI deliberately ignored to recognise President Lungu for among other things, reducing sentences such as death for reformed prisoners to life.

“Every good student of human rights does recognise that under President Lungu, prisoners have never had it better starting from reduced sentences, no death sentences including visitations for none flight risk convicts,” Mr Lubinda said.

He said while the rest of the democratic world commended Zambia for holding peaceful elections since independence, AI only saw it fit to paint Zambia black for “sporadic and minor” incidents of violence, which are still regrettable but not unique to Zambia.

“There´s no all-out war in Zambia, this is a country ranked by several respectable international agencies as a beacon of peace on the continent,” Mr Lubinda said.

He said the fact that Zambia has held free and fair elections, has had six Presidents without going to war, “should count for something.”

He deplored the “dirty tactics” the institution used in arriving at its findings which he said fell directly in the realm of the Zambian opposition.

“The report looks like something AI wrote in cohorts with the opposition,” Mr Lubinda said, “but we are happy that the international community can see beyond the sensation AI uses to catch attention and please their donors.”

Zambia has constantly been on the top five lists of most peaceful and stable countries in Africa, as well as a country that adheres to strict governance covenants said Mr Lubinda.

And PF Lusaka province chairman, Kennedy Kamba said the recent report by Amnesty International was biased and deliberately drafted to project the ruling party as generally violent.

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