Thursday, October 11, 2012

Zambia has moved upwards in promotion of democratic principles - SACCORD

Zambia has moved upwards in promotion of democratic principles - SACCORD
By Ernest Chanda and Roy Habaalu
Thu 11 Oct. 2012, 14:00 CAT

SACCORD says the country has moved upwards in the promotion of democratic principles.

Southern Africa Centre for Constructive resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) information officer Obby Chibuluma said some of the rights enjoyed in Zambia could not be compared to the way the situation was over two decades ago.

"We have made a lot of steps towards ensuring that our citizens become the drivers of our both political as well as economic destiny. As a country we have continued to strengthen people's enjoyment of civil liberty or rights," he said in an interview yesterday.

"When you look at some of the rights Zambians enjoy, you can never compare them to the way they were in the 70s or the early 90s. We have moved to almost enjoying absolute freedom of expression. And this can be seen from the way Zambians are expressing themselves through radio stations as well as online publications."

He said people were also moving forward in terms of civil and political rights where they could demand what they wanted from their leaders.
Chibuluma said citizens could also demand elections in line with constitutional provisions.

"We have also made tremendous strides towards fulfilling the implementation of women's rights; we are doing very well. Our constitution protects the rights of women as well as children just like the way they are protected in Europe and other advanced democracies," said Chibuluma.

"We are also doing very well in terms of ensuring that all elected leaders are accountable to the Zambians. Today Zambians are able to demand the firing or resignation of political leaders who might be perceived to have violated the constitution. And on a number of occasions the people have been successful on that score. And it is part of the citizens exercising their right to have leaders accountable to them."

He said since the constitution has had a fairly strong Bill of Rights, the nation would see more growth in democracy once a better constitution is put in place.



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