SACCORD reaffirms continued contributions towards refinement of POA

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SACCORD has reaffirmed it’s continued contribution to the refinement of the Public Order Act through consultations with other stakeholders.

Speaking when he opened a two day workshop on the POA SACCORD in Lusaka Tuesday,  Board Member Humphrey Elakani said his organisation has continued to provide space for other stakeholders’ contributions as regards the POA and its contribution to democratic space is concerned.

Elakani who spoke on behalf of the Board Chairperson said since the turn of the millennium one of the core and fundamental activities that SACCORD has mainly worked on was towards bettering the POA.

..”SACCORD has been implementing has been on matters around the reform of the POA as it was identified as a source of conflict following the tension that has been surrounding the rights holders and the duty bearers since the country reverted back to multi-party democracy. 

“In 2004, SACCORD after countrywide consultations on the reform of the POA took the initiative of drafting and proposing a draft Bill on the POA. The Bill went through first reading and eventually fail off at second reading. The organization did not lose faith and continued to engage into constructive advocacy around its reform owing to the legislation’s central role in our democracy,” he said.

He explained that his organisation has continued to provide space for other organizations to make submissions when ever government has called for submissions towards the refinement of the POA.

“The biggest opportunity around the reform on the POA came in 2017 when the Ministry of Justice made an announcement that the Ministry was accepting submissions from the public. This window of opportunity was welcome as it came against a background of tension on the administration of the POA in the previous years. 

“SACCORD with support of GIZ mobilized civil society organizations and made a CSO submission position which was launched and eventually handed over to the Ministries of Justice and Home Affairs respectively.

This position paper formed a basis of input from CSOs that the Ministry of Justice was able to take into consideration for drafting the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) Bill 2019 that was extensively deliberated over and finally endorsed by the NDF,” he said.

He said the workshop was meant to consolidate the role of CSOs in the country’s democratic dispensation by identifying gaps in the POA bill of 2019 and other areas of public interest.

“Our efforts that we intend to put together for the next two days are to ensure that CSOs continue to play their rightful role in encouraging the consolidation of Zambia’s democratic dispensation. Secondly, we appreciate the extent to which CSOs efforts have contributed to forming the draft Public Order Act (POA) Bill 2019. Thirdly, to identify the gaps that may be in existence in the draft POA Bill 2019 as adopted by the NDF. And finally, for CSOs to devise strategies that will be used to ensure that we continue to effectively undertake advocacy work for us as CSOs to have a POA Bill and ultimately the Act that will be enacted by parliament.”


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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31