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Trade Unions, CSOs pledge to work together

An Alliance of Trade Unions and Civil Society Organizations (ATCS) in Central province has formed a joint action group to protect the democratic civic space, freedom of association and freedom of information in the country.

Speaking during a joint press briefing in Kabwe, ATCS Consultant Kalungu Sampa said the alliance has come up with such a strategy after realising that fighting for democratic space demands a multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach.

Mr Sampa observed that the alliance between Trade Unions and CSOs in Central province will provide a viable platform to improve collaborative actions towards enhancing democratic civic space and freedoms of citizens from all walks of life.

“As an alliance, we have pledged to work together to promote democratic civic space and human rights, enhance freedoms and justice, free from intimidation and suppression and violence by the powers that be,” Mr Sampa said.

He stated that the alliance has resolved to put premium priority towards civic education on key matters of concern such as Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Access to Information law (ATI), and corruption, in order to enhance active participation and involvement of citizens in civic matters.

Mr. Sampa added that the alliance will utilize digital technology, social media and creative arts among other available channels and tools, to carry out civic education for citizens.

Meanwhile, Alliance Chairperson Paul Mwansa explained that the organisation will also advocate for speedy legislative reforms especially on the Access to Information (ATI) law, media freedoms and the Public Order Act (POA) among others, in order to enhance freedom of information, speech and association.

Mr. Mwansa stated that mutual collaboration and respect between the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), CSOs and government will be promoted while monitoring the effectiveness of implementing the existing democratic laws will continue.

“As an alliance of Trade Unions and CSOs in the central province, we remain committed to promoting and supporting progressive policies, legislation and action taken by government and any other stakeholders while at the same time will stand firm and hard against that which will demean and reduce the tenets of democracy and freedoms of individuals and institutions,” Mr. Mwansa said.