The Human Rights Commission has strongly condemned the looting and destruction of shops and properties for foreign nationals in some selected parts of Lusaka by residents who were protesting against the barbaric suspected ritual killings in the city.
Chief of Information, Education and Training Mweelwa Muleya in a statement to QFM says the Commission appeals for self restraint against xenophobic tendencies in the face of suspected ritual killings.
Mr Muleya says xenophobia, just like the on-going killings, is a crime against humanity and therefore a violation of human rights.
He says targeting an individual or a group of individuals purely because of their identity such as nationality or place of origin, ethnicity, tribal or social status is one of the worst forms of violation of human rights because it is discriminatory.
Mr Muleya says the Government has a primary duty to take effective measures to prevent the on-going suspected ritual killings within the provisions of the law and must also protect everyone, including non-nationals, from any form of violence or abuse such as destroying their properties and threatening their lives.
He states that it is gross injustice that foreign nationals such as refugees, immigrants or asylum seekers who may have fled from gross violations of their rights in countries of their origin either due to political or economic challenges should become easy targets of blame and anger for the on- killings which the police are still investigating to establish the culprits.
And the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has observed with sadness the spread of violent acts on foreign nationals running businesses in Lusaka townships on suspicion that they are associated with the recent ritual murders in the city.
CCZ General Secretary Suzanne Matale says the Church condemns these acts of violence as they are a threat to the peace of the nation.
Reverend Matale says violence does not represent the peaceful, accommodating and welcoming nature of Zambians.
She says any acts of violence breed fear and alarm in communities and if left unchecked will deteriorate into lawlessness and wanton loss of lives and property.
Reverend Matale says the CCZ is appealing to the police service to put up efficient security measures to manage the situation by increasing their presence in the affected areas and also to issue comprehensive statement on the arrest of suspects in connection with the ritual killings to avoid the spread of rumors among communities.