Zambia ‘s Ambassador to Ethiopia Susan Sikaneta says the Zambia’s ratification of the African Charter on Governance , election and Human Rights is a clear indication of governments resolve of upholding tenets of democracy and good governance.
Speaking when a consortium of Civil Society Organizations in Africa under the hospices of Action Aid paid a courtesy call on her , Her Excellency Ms. Sikaneta said Zambia was amongst countries that had ratified the important charter.
Ms. Sikaneta who commended Action Aid for the work it was doing emphasized the need for Civil Society organizations in Zambia to take a leading role in helping popularize the programmes of the African Union, especially Agenda 2063.
She disclosed that Zambia will assume the chairmanship of the Peace and Security Council this August, and that charter needs to be strengthened so that progress made on it so far by African Member States can be enhanced.
Ms. Sikaneta said there were loopholes which needed to be sealed to allow for greater respect for Constitutionalism, observance of Human Rights, Rule of Law, electoral rules as well ad deal with deficit in democracy and governance.
She also said the decision by Action Aid to popularize the charter was commendable as it would help enlighten the citizenry about matters of governance.
Action Aid Zambia Governance Programme Manager Musonda Kabinga said Zambia has done a good job in integrating the Africa Charter on Governance, election and Human Rights in the country’s National development Agenda.
He said what government needed to do was roll out the implementation agenda of the charter.
He said the decision that government had taken to revise the Constitution, the electoral code and make amendments to the penal code were some progressive moves meant to promote good governance.
He said the organization would soon release a report on how the implementation of the charter is being done.
Mr Kabinga commended the Zambia Embassy in Ethiopia for its role in ensuring that Zambia is not left out of matters pertaining to the continental body.
Action Aid Rwanda Country Representative who was leader of delegation said the Adoption of the African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance underscored the commitment of the African leaders to uphold democracy, respect for human and people’s rights and the rule of law on the continent.
She however said it was unfortunate that despite the adoption, critical issues such as delay in signing, ratifying , domestication and implementation of the charter remained a big challenge.
Action Aid Rwanda Advocacy and campaign Manager Margaret Ward emphasized the need for the media to take a critical role in informing the citizenry about the charter and the AU vision 2063.