7 October 2005

Zambia: American Peace Corps Misconduct Condemned

AMNESTY International Zambia (AIZ) has condemned the misconduct by some American Peace Corps volunteers in Kasama who allegedly urinated into a water tank and uttered racial abuse.

AIZ director Charles Mulenga said the behaviour should be condemned by everyone and welcomed the action by the organisation to withdraw the concerned volunteers.

Mr Mulenga said racism had no place in any society and could not be tolerated by Zambians.

The Peace Corps was a renowned international organisation that commanded a lot of respect from communities and Government.

"It is only expected that people representing such an organisation, conduct themselves accordingly," he said.

It was unfortunate that the volunteers had gone to the extent of urinating in the tank supplying water to the community.

"Water was a vital commodity that the volunteers should not have resorted to urinating into the tank, forcing authorities to suspend water supply for two days," he said.

"The organisation should ensure it reconciles with the local community in order to remove any negative perception people might have developed towards it," he said.

It was only appropriate that the volunteers were withdrawn because it was imperative that the Peace Corps's image was restored.

Kasama district commissioner Stephen Chanda reported to a District Development Co-ordinating Committee (DDCC) meeting that police had picked up some volunteers when they climbed a 100-metre water tank and hurled abuse at locals in Mulenga Hills township.

Lieutenant Colonel Chanda said they also allegedly urinated in the water tank and left obscene graffiti on the tank.

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