FODEP President Shepherd Chilombe said hate speech and intolerance continue to undermine the country’s democratic process.
Mr Chilombe said it is saddening to note that Zambia is celebrating its 51st anniversary amidst heavy borrowing, rising essential commodity prices and expensive cost of living.
He said this in a statement to celebrate Zambia’s Independence day anniversary.
‘The Country still remains dependent on foreign funding to support its operations and diversification efforts remain a lip service matter for the past 51 years,’ he said.
‘It is the hope of FODEP that this day will help Zambians find the real meaning our forefathers wanted to achieve when they fought for independence. FODEP would like to congratulate the people of Zambia and successive governments for making Zambia an envious peace hub in the SADC region and the continent as whole.’
Mr Chilombe said it is imperative that undemocratic tendencies which sometimes manifest themselves leaders should be nipped out of the bud before they blossom to protect the country’s democratic process.
‘FODEP is also particularly concerned that 51 years of independence has not helped the country enact a new people driven constitution and has failed to hold a referendum. Instead, for 51 years, we have continued to use a failed parliamentary route.’
He said, ‘It would be an excellent opportunity to celebrate the Independence Day with a new constitution, reduced cost of living and less debt stock for the country. Therefore, we call on Zambians to put their heads together in finding a lasting solution to the political, social and economic problems affecting the country currently.’
Mr Chilombe added, ‘To the young generation, this day should be used to reflect on how Zambia can sustainably maintain the political peace and stability the country has enjoyed over the years.’