Lungu pledges law reform ahead of polls

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Lusaka – Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has said his administration is determined to reform colonial era legislation that is inimical to democracy and social development.

In a meeting with United Kingdom Minister for Africa James Duddrudge in Lusaka this week, President Lungu highlighted the Public Order Act of 1951, inherited from the colonial British government at independence in 1964, as one piece of legislation in need of amendment before Zambia holds a general election in 2021.

“Law reforms are of importance in this country and right now in Parliament we are trying to process the law so that it meets the expectations of the people in terms of liberties to assemble and to speak,” President Lungu said.

Various government agencies and ministries were already preparing for the 2021 elections, he said, and his administration wanted a poll process whose outcome reflected the will of the people.

“You are coming at a time when we are just getting ready for the 2021 elections. This election is very important for us. We want it to be free, fair, and credible,” President Lungu stated.

The President lauded the UK’s unwavering support to Zambia in various sectors, such as education, social protection, conservation and health.

“The Zambian government values its special relations with the United Kingdom under the Commonwealth, which espouses the values of democracy, human rights, sustainable development, peace and security and good governance among others.”

The President also called for a multilateral effort to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Duddridge said Britain would continue to support Zambia’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, while also assisting with nutrition programmes, SMEs and economic growth.

He also said, “I look forward to getting to know more about the country and the challenges in exchange your views on what’s happening. I also look forward to a more mature relationship on trade and prosperity and transitioning Zambia into a middle-income country, opportunities for more trade, opportunities of doing business directly with the UK and opportunities for increasing revenues.” 

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