Public rallies ban irks AGG

Alliance for Good Governance (AGG) is concerned with the government’s arbitrary ban and denial to its citizens the rights to hold public gatherings in the country aimed at exchanging views and deliberating on national issues such as the constitution making process. 

According to AGG, the threats of deregistration and arrest of NGOs and their leaders which came from the Minister of Justice for merely holding public consultative forum on the constitution making process opened a sad and also retrogressive chapter in the Zambian Governance history.

The unabated denial by authorities to allow opposition political actors to exercise their constitutional rights to assemble, demonstrate and associate was another problem to Zambian’s political development.

“Government’s sensitivity to criticisms is extremely alarming and a danger to people’s freedoms as it has the potential to create mechanism to silence all government critics and divergent views.”

The alliance further noted that the tolerance of the unacceptable acts by the police and some high ranking government officials by the

President was not inspiring at all, but instead was aggravating the perception and allegations that the PF government had failed to fulfill its promises hence preventing citizens from pointing that out.

“The slow pace at and selective manner in which legal reforms are being undertaken by the Patriotic Front Government leaves much to be desired. However, the government also was quick to implement the SIM card registration laws even when this law was vehemently opposed by stakeholders including some people in the current government,” said the alliance.

The AGG further said the u-turning of political leadership on popular views and opinions was extremely dangerous in the restoration of public confidence in elected leaders.

AGG hopes that the PF Government will prioritize the repeal of laws inimical to a democratic country such as the Public Order Act, the NGO Act and other archaic laws in the Penal Code.

“AGG is hopeful that the PF Government will come to terms with reality on the ground and govern the nation on principles of Good Governance and negate the fear of the unknown which has seemingly engulfed them.”

AGG comprises Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP), Chikondi Foundation, Operation Young Vote (OYV), Press Association of Zambia (PAZA), Zambia Federation for the Disabled (ZAFOD), Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and 2410 Organization.

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