A new initiative in Zambia aims to connect the police with the public by providing direct phone lines to local police stations. But the phone numbers do little good when callers from unplanned settlements report crimes in progress – and police can’t find their homes.
Nongovernmental organizations and civil-society groups in Zambia are backing a move to eliminate the possibility of bail for those accused of sex offenses against children. The groups say that bail allows alleged abusers to intimidate their accusers into not showing up in court, to traumatize the children further and to commit more crimes, although those accused of such crimes criticize the practices of police and slow-moving courts in such cases, as well.
Zambia last executed someone in 1997, and neighboring countries have long outlawed capital punishment. Even as courts continue to condemn convicts to death row, many organizations are asking Zambians: Isn’t it time to abolish the death penalty?
Intersex people in Zambia struggle to have their gender identity properly recorded on legal documents because the law does not recognize their existence. They are often asked to produce results from expensive medical tests to prove their status and face official hostility because being intersex is often associated with homosexuality, which is illegal in the country.
Warning that congregants are being abused by false prophets, Zambia has deported at least one foreign national and denied entry to another. The new Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, established in 2016 to regulate churches, says the cleanup is just beginning.
Police say false rumors sparked looting in Zambia’s capital city this week. Two people died in the riots, more than 60 shops were looted and more than 250 people were arrested. Protesters originally took to the streets to demand police action after a series of suspicious deaths.
Zimbabwe’s economic crisis has prompted an estimated 2-3 million people to leave the country in search of work. Women who have taken up sex work in Zambia say it is their only lucrative business option, but they face deportation from immigration officials.