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HRC Suspends Director

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Zambia has confirmed the suspension of its Director, Mrs. Sindiso Ngatsha Sichone, following unanimous agreement among its Commissioners. The decision was made during a statutory meeting held on November 8th, 2023, to allow for an independent disciplinary process against Mrs. Sichone.

According to an official statement issued by the Board of Commissioners, the decision to suspend Mrs. Sichone was aimed at ensuring transparency and fairness in addressing disciplinary charges against her.

While various internal documents pertaining to the disciplinary process have been shared with select media institutions, the Commission emphasized the importance of maintaining confidentiality in employer-employee relationships and exercising decorum.

Responding to allegations of external influence in the decision-making process, the Commissioners asserted their autonomy and authority under the Human Rights Commission Act, Chapter 48 of the Laws of Zambia. They clarified that the disciplinary measures were initiated solely by the Commissioners, who serve as the Director’s supervisory employers.

Dr. Pamela Towela Sambo, the Commission Chairperson, acted on behalf of all Commissioners in communicating and executing decisions related to Mrs. Sichone’s suspension. The disciplinary hearing, conducted in accordance with established principles, was characterized by independence, professionalism, impartiality, and non-discrimination.

Despite the ongoing disciplinary process, the Commissioners assured stakeholders and the public that the Commission’s operational effectiveness remains unaffected. They encouraged victims of human rights violations and abuses to continue reporting such cases, emphasizing the Commission’s commitment to fulfilling its constitutional and statutory obligations.

In conclusion, the Commissioners stated their intention to refrain from further comments on the matter unless deemed necessary and justifiable. The case is currently under the purview of the Attorney General, who represents the Commission, and legal representatives of Mrs. Sichone.

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