MINISTER of Community Development and Social Services Hon. Doreen Sefuke Mwamba has re-affirmed Zambia’s commitment to the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities through meaningful implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Delivering Zambia’s statement at the 15th Session of the Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Hon. Mwamba said Zambia has made strides towards promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, notable among them, the inclusion of persons with disabilities through a robust approach using the Community Based Inclusive Model.
The Minister further re-affirmed the country’s commitment to the Convention and its core principles of non-discrimination and inclusion in society of persons with disabilities.
With regards to employment of persons with disabilities, Hon. Mwamba said the Government will deliberately apply the quota system of employing ten percent of the total number of recruitments to persons with disabilities.
“Government is further making efforts to encourage entrepreneurship among persons with disabilities through the formation of cooperatives and skills development,” the Minister said.
And Hon. Mwamba said Government, through the Mental Health Services Act No. 6 of 2019, would continue promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms of mental health users.
Hon. Mwamba added that the Zambian Government is implementing the Children in Families Programme, which seeks to eliminate discrimination and seclusion of children with disabilities.
“To enable the participation of youths with disabilities in the development agenda, President Hakainde Hichilema, recently appointed youths with disabilities to key national institutions such as Boards and Public Service Commissions,” she said. “As a State Party to the Convention, Government sees value in efforts aimed at empowering women with disabilities, both through livelihood support and protection of their rights. To that effect, Government is implementing various social protection programmes aimed at curbing poverty and the multi-faceted discrimination that women with disabilities and their families face.”
Hon. Mwamba said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the global population with adverse impact on persons with disabilities and that the Government had put in place a plan to cushion them.
The 15th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP15) took place at the UN from 14th to 16th June, 2022, under the over-arching theme: “Building Disability-Inclusive and Participatory Societies in the COVID Context and Beyond”.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the General Assembly through its resolution 61/106 on 13th December 2006. It came into force on 3rd May 2008, upon the 20th ratification.
The Conference was established in accordance with article 40 of the Convention, which states that “The States Parties shall meet regularly in a Conference of States Parties in order to consider any matter with regard to the implementation of the present Convention.
Various stakeholders attend the 15th session of the Conference, including over 1000 participants from States Parties, Observer States, and hundreds of Non-Government Organisations, National Human Rights Institutions and the United Nations System entities. In addition, side events were held on the margins of the official programme that allowed for an in-depth exchange of experiences and innovative ideas to make the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities a reality on the ground.
Issued by: The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations
LAZ to co-operate with the FIC and other stakeholders to ensure that the matters highlighted in the report touching on the legal profession are thoroughly investigated
THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has distanced itself from criminal activities by any of its members.
This follows a report by the Financial Intelligence Centre which has highlighted how some law firms are involved in money laundering and fraud.
In statement issued, Association honorary secretary Peter Chilembo said LAZ remains committed to ensuring that the legal profession continues to play its critical role of advancing societal interests
“LAZ has noted, with concern, the FIC 2021 Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Trends Report, which implicates some law firms in money laundering and fraudulent activities.LAZ observes that the purpose of the said report, as the report itself states, is to further the FIC’s mandate to conduct strategic analysis to identify trends and patterns relating to Money Laundering, Terrorism and Proliferation Financing or any other offence. Whilst the Report does not entail that those named are already guilty, LAZ does not condone criminal activities by any of its members, and remains committed to ensuring that the legal profession continues to play its critical role of advancing societal interests,” Mr Chilembo said.
He said LAZ is a designated supervisory authority over law firms in anti-money laundering matters as provided by Section 2 of the Financial Intelligence Centre (Amendment) [No. 16 of 2020], with power to mete out appropriate sanctions.
Mr Chilembo said as a designated authority, LAZ will co-operate with the FIC and other stakeholders to ensure that the matters highlighted in the Trends Report touching on the legal profession are thoroughly investigated, and appropriate sanctions meted out, where wrongdoing is proved.
He said the legal profession will play its role to enhance compliance of anti-money laundering legislation by its members.
(Mwebantu, Monday, June, 27th, 2022)
Chapter One Foundation condemns, UPND’s William Banda, over his discriminatory remarks against women
CHAPTER One Foundation Limited has condemned remarks made by the United Party for National Development (UPND) member William Banda, directed at New Heritage Party president Chishala Kateka following her lone protest against hunger in Zambia.
The Foundation says Zambia is a democratic nation wherein the national values and principles of equality and dignity for all are embedded in the Constitution.
In a media statement, the Foundation state that that Article 23 of the Constitution, prohibits all forms of discrimination, including such discriminatory remarks against women.
“Ms Kateka, like any other Zambian citizen, has the right to freely participate in the governance of her country and enjoy the full scope of her Constitutional freedoms. An attack on her person is an attack on the values and principles we hold dear, it is a thinly veiled and shameful attempt to undermine women and their place in our society,” reads the statement.
The Foundation further state that remarks like those of Mr Banda are indicative of a worrying attitude towards women in politics and decision-making positions.
“The deliberate verbal attack on Ms. Kateka’s person is but one example of a practice of silencing women who dare to publicly air their views, a practice which ought to be shunned by government officials and persons in leadership roles. This practice and accompanying attitude have the harmful effect of discouraging women from freely participating in politics. Zambia is party to the Convention to End All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa. All of these instruments obligate states to uphold and protect the rights of women in politics and eradicate all forms of violence against them,”
The Foundation has since urged the UPND government to demonstrate its commitment to gender issues by taking immediate and decisive action against M Banda and party members and sympathisers who promote sexist, divisive and retrogressive politics.
(Mwebantu, Friday, June 24th, 2022)
Law Association of Zambia condemns military brutality
THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has called on the Army Commander to take action against officers who assaulted unidentified youths for allegedly insulting the President.
The association says it is appalled at videos showing military personnel assaulting unidentified youths for purportedly insulting the President of the Republic of Zambia.
In a media statement, LAZ honorary secretary Peter Chilembo said regardless of the behaviour exhibited by the youths, Zambia has sufficient laws in place to deal with such conduct.
“The institution bestowed with the constitutional power to effect arrests over such conduct, and possibly prosecute, is the Zambia Police Service, acting in liaison with the Director of Public Prosecutions. There is no law that gives military personnel power to mete instant penalties on erring members of society. To say the least, the conduct exhibited by the military personnel, who are identifiable in one of the videos, is illegal, inhumane, degrading and undermines the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism in the country,” he said.
Mr Chilembo said military personnel in Zambia play a key role, and their importance cannot be overemphasized, however, no one is above the law, and under no circumstances must any citizen, let alone men and women in uniform, take the law into their own hands and mete out street justice.
“Therefore, it is LAZ’s strong view that such conduct by military personnel on private citizens should immediately be redressed by the Military Command. LAZ therefore, calls upon the Army Commander to take appropriate steps to promptly deal with the erring officers so as to maintain the Rule of Law, and to deter would be offenders within their ranks.
LAZ will not relent in execution of its statutory mandate to protect Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law, for the greater good of the Nation,” he said.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, June 23rd, 2022)