STOP THE PRACTICE OF ABDUCTION NO ONE SHOULD DISAPPEAR WITHOUT TRACE

The report of the case of a missing Gamtel staff for a period of 8 days raises the question of impunity in governance. No one could ever justify abduction in a country which has a constitution that has laid down in no uncertain terms that no one should be detained for no more than 72 hours without appearing before a court and without being informed of the right to have access to a legal practitioner within three hours, after detention.

There is no justification for keeping a person under detention for more than three hours without the family being informed of his whereabouts.

Family members should know the whereabouts of detainees even during a state of emergency. This is what Section 36 Subsection (1)(b) states:

“Where a person is detained by virtue of or under any Act of the National Assembly referred to in section 35, the following provisions shall apply- ….

(b) the spouse, parent, child or other available next-of-kin of the person detained shall be informed by the authority effecting the detention and shall be permitted access to the person concerned at the earliest practicable opportunity, and in any case not later than twenty-four hours after the commencement of the detention;…”

Government should issue a memorandum ordering for an end to any abduction of persons which should be read as public notice for general knowledge.