Former LAZ President Linda Kasonde has announced the formation of a new organization called Chapter One Foundation which she says will be used to promote human rights, constitutionalism and the rule of law in Zambia.
Ms. Kasonde who is Executive Director of the Foundation stated that Chapter One Foundation has been born from the growing threat on the rule of law in Zambia.
In a statement, Ms. Kasonde noted that the goal of the Foundation was to see a Zambia where citizens are freely and actively participating in the governance of the country.
Ms. Kasonde noted that Increased inequality, growing populism and weakening of public institutions and public accountability were affecting the country’s ability to deliver on the sustainable development goals.
“Chapter One Foundation is pleased to announce that it was officially launched at an event on Thursday 5th September 2019. Chapter One was founded to promote and protect human rights, human rights defenders, constitutionalism and the rule of law through litigation, advocacy and civic education in a sustainable manner. Chapter One Foundation is named after Chapter One of the Laws of Zambia which contains the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law by which every Zambian, regardless of status is bound. We at Chapter One Foundation take our constitutional duty to uphold and defend the Constitution very seriously,” said Ms. Kasonde.
She disclosed that her organisation was funded by the Swedish government, ActionAid and Caritas Zambia among others.”
“Chapter One Foundation is financially supported by the Swedish Embassy, the National Endowment for Democracy, ActionAid Zambia and Caritas Zambia who all recognise the growing need to defend the civic space in Zambia. It is these principles that guide the work of Chapter One Foundation, our goal is to see a Zambia where citizens are freely and actively participating in the governance of Zambia, and where “we the people” take our rightful place as the authors of our own destiny.”
She said, “to achieve this, we recognize that we have to put the individual at the heart of our work, that is why human rights are at the core of what we do.”
“Human rights, the people that defend human rights, constitutionalism and the rule of law are facing a growing threat the world over and Zambia is no exception. Increased inequality, growing populism and weakening of public institutions and public accountability is affecting our ability to deliver on the sustainable development goals that Zambia has signed up to. The mere existence of public institutions is not enough to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights; these public institutions must also be guided by certain principles that ensure the institutions truly function for the benefit of society,” she stated.