The recent torturous military or police training video that surfaced on social media is a testament to the rottenness of our military and police recruitment system. The video shows young boys being tortured, abused, and teased by trainers. One trainer is heard telling the boy that his beating is nothing compared to what he would receive from civilians.
Another boy is seen lying with minimal movement, while the trainer kicks his head. Other boys are in excruciating pain, gasping for air, while others are coughing and crying uncontrollably. Such inhumane acts cannot be defended on the basis of military or police training; it is criminal and those thugs must be arrested and prosecuted.
We have repeatedly campaigned against police brutality which is on an increase during this campaign season. The video testifies to the fact that Military and Police brutality is driven by the abusive training the officers undergo. They are not taught to defend and protect citizens, but to see us as enemies. In the nation where military officers are promoted, become Generals, and retire honorably without fighting a single war, abusing citizens is the only route to promotion. Any officer who beats and harasses the losing party the worst is on the list to be promoted by the next regime.
It is shameful that such acts take place under the watch of the President. But how can the President discipline the very thugs that work to protect his own cartel?
The video is cause for national concern not only to parents, but also any person with ubuntu. I am ashamed that such human rights abuses are done in the name of Zambia police or military. I am disconcerted that these thugs and criminals proudly and shamelessly abuse innocent boys in the name of my country. We deserve better!
The faecal mentality that presents military or police training as torture goes against The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The acts of torture witnessed in that video are prohibited under this Convention, to which Zambia is a signatory.
Besides, it is inhumane to hit the heads of boys with big sticks. Such acts are not only crazy, foolish, and demonic, but also life ending. Soccer players are protected when they crush heads because of the risk of concussion. Moreover, those thugs are not medical doctors or health professionals; in fact, they are unlikely to hold a grade 12 Certificate. Who does not know that they bribed senior officers to get in?
But there is something more. As we move towards the elections, we are witnessing torture of civilians by men in uniforms. We must realize that these officers are trained in environments that approve of torture and non-respect of human rights and dignity. Putting on the uniform means surviving human abuse; it is thus on them to do the same to civilians on the streets. Yet the police and the military ought to protect civilians and not the corrupt cartel.
We must realize that by watching such torturous acts and doing nothing, we are sending a message that being in the military or the police means surviving abuse. I am afraid for female recruits, who are in the hands of these thugs.
If President Lungu does not act by firing those thugs, I am ashamed to call him the Commander in Chief!
If Rev. Sumaili does not condemn these acts, she has lost any sense of human decency. As for my fellow men and women of the cloth, if we don’t speak out, shame on us!
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