Zambian Minister Urges Focus on Official Agenda of Democracy Summit

Zambian Minister of Justice, Mulambo Haimbe, has called on citizens to focus on the official agenda of the forthcoming Summit for Democracy in Lusaka, instead of false speculation surrounding the event. Haimbe emphasised that the summit will centre on topics such as the participation of women, youth, and persons with disabilities in electoral processes, freedom of expression, and the role of media and civil society in promoting transparent and credible elections. Other key themes include transparency in political party financing and the independence and autonomy of electoral management bodies. Haimbe urged Zambians to disregard rumors regarding the summit’s agenda, as any other areas being speculated upon are false.

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Critics, primarily opposition political parties, have suggested that the summit will be used to promote LGBTQ rights. However, the objective of the summit, which will be co-hosted by Zambia, the United States of America, Costa-Rica, the Netherlands, and the Republic of Korea, is to promote transparency, accountability, respect for human rights, and good governance. The summit will take place from March 29th to 30th, 2023.

State House Chief Communications Specialist, Clayson Hamasaka, said that Zambia’s selection to co-host the summit came as a result of the country’s strong commitment to the principles of democratic governance, respect for the rule of law, and human rights. Hamasaka added that Zambia has a record of democratic and free elections, with peaceful transitions of power. President Hakainde Hichilema will represent Zambia at the summit, which will provide an opportunity for African leaders to share their experiences and best practices in promoting democracy and good governance.

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The spokesperson stated that the summit will address the challenges facing the African continent in promoting free, fair, and transparent elections, as well as ways to strengthen electoral processes and institutions. He noted that it will be a forum for African leaders to exchange ideas and experiences on promoting democracy and discuss best practices for ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.

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