Zambia

14 million people
1,150 USD GNI (PPP)
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written by
Cathal Gilbert
Project Director, Southern Africa
written by
Juliet Mureriwa
Senior Program Officer for Rule of Law in Southern Africa


The euphoria that followed longtime Zambian opposition leader Michael Sata’s election as president in 2011 has given way to fear that the country may be returning to the dark days of its less-than-democratic past.

Freedom House urges the government of Zambia to postpone enforcement of its draconian NGO Act, which required non-governmental organizations to register with the government before February 5, in apparent violation of the country’s constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of association. Freedom House calls on the government to consult with civil society to resolve issues about the legality and enforcement of the law.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Freedom of Association, Human Rights Defense, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa
written by
Robert Herman
Vice President for Regional Programs
written by
Cathal Gilbert
Project Director, Southern Africa
written by
Kellen McClure
Program Officer, Africa

Zambia won international praise in 2011 for free and fair elections that led to a peaceful transfer of power to the longtime opposition party—a rarity in Southern Africa. However, recent democratic setbacks in the country, overshadowed by threats to freedom in larger countries like Mali, Kenya, and South Africa, have yet to attract much attention abroad.

Freedom House has joined the growing chorus in opposition to Zambia’s repressive NGO legislation. Through a petition letter coordinated by Civicus, Freedom House and 111 other organizations from 46 countries call on the government of Zambia to stop implementation of the new law, a measure that limits freedom of association.

Issues: 
Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Freedom of Association, Human Rights Defense, Rule of Law
Regions: 
Sub-Saharan Africa

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