News / Africa

Commonwealth to Examine Zambia Suspension Petition

Peter Clottey
An official of the Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Nations says the organization has received a petition from a Zambia group calling for the temporary suspension of the southern African country.

Victory Holdsworth says the secretariat has put together a team to review the petition.

“We are in the process of examining the submission and we will be able to respond once we’ve done so,” said Holdsworth.

Holdsworth says the Commonwealth Secretariat’s team will consider the suspension request and then advise the secretary-general of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), Holdsworth says, determines how any member state found to have committed rights abuses will be punished.

"The first step is the suspension from the Councils of the Commonwealth, which will mean that that particular country no longer receives direct assistance from the Commonwealth,” said Holdsworth.

The Coalition for the Defense of Democratic Rights (CDDR), which comprises opposition and some civil society groups, recently called for Zambia’s suspension from the Commonwealth. The group accused President Michael Sata and his administration of human rights violations and stifling democracy - charges the government strongly denies.

The group has called for an independent investigation of alleged human and civil rights abuses following its petition seeking Zambia’s suspension.

“It is our position that the current government has repeatedly broken the law and violated the rights of both civil society and opposition political parties. We are asking the Commonwealth to appoint an envoy to conduct an independent investigation into these violations,” said Robert Amsterdam, an attorney for the group.

At a news conference in South Africa, the leader of Zambia’s opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) said the administration is to blame for the simmering tension in the country.
         
“If you objectively look at the pattern of abuses committed by this government, not just against opposition parties, but also civil societies and business competitors of their allies, it is difficult not to conclude that we are on the road back towards the one-party state,” said Hakainde Hichilema.
 
But, Zambian Information Minister Kennedy Sakeni rejected the accusations, saying members of the groups lack patriotism.
         
“It is clear that they are not ready for the task they so much long for. Who takes pride in discrediting a country they aspire to lead? It’s totally wrong un-African, and falls short of the elementary dictates of patriotism and focused leadership,” Sakeni said.

Clottey interview with Victory Holdsworth, Commonwealth Secretariat
Clottey interview with Victory Holdsworth, Commonwealth Secretariat i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid