The Patriotic Front (PF) government should put away its arrogance and antagonistic attitude and pay particular attention to the United States of America human rights report that has cast Zambia’s human rights record in red, former foreign affairs minister Kabinga Pande has advised.
The US government has expressed disappointment with the PF government on the impasse over the constitution making process that has since stalled.
According the 2013 US Human Rights Report in Zambia issued by US Secretary of State John Kerry, there has been increased and rampant human rights abuses under the PF government.
In the report, Kerry said the US government was particularly concerned with the arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings and prolonged detentions as well as the arbitrary interference with privacy and restrictions on the freedom of expression.
Pande said Zambia’s image has been severely damaged at the international community because the PF government had adopted bad governance strategies that have seen the constitution making process collapse.
He said the US was a Super Power and had a lot of influence on global political matters to be ignored by a country like Zambia.
He said in an interview yesterday that it was disheartening that Zambia’s image at the international community had been destroyed by the PF in less than three years in government.
He said President Sata and the PF government should begin working at correcting the damaged image because there was a danger that Zambia risked being isolated by many countries in the region and beyond.
Pande said it was not surprising that none of the country’s neighbouring countries have ever considered vising the country since President Sata and the PF formed government in 2011.
He explained that the observations and concerns the US Human Rights report have raised such as the unnecessary impasse on the constitution making process had severely affected the governance of the country.
Pande said the PF was causing a lot of uncertainty among the investors with their dictatorial style of governing the country adding prospective investors would have to think twice before committing their resources to any business venture in the country.
“The US is a Super Power and it will be at our own risk to ignore their advice. The PF must avoid arrogance and antagonism in governing the country. They have been in power for less than three years and the country’s image has been completely shattered. Let them pay attention to what the US have observed. With such a terrible human rights record, it is not surprising that there are signs that Zambia is getting isolated. They have scared away investors and the exchange rate now trading at K6 to US$1 are signs that things are bad with this government,” Pande said.