November 16, 2004

Government bans civic group

Government has deregistered the Southern Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) with immediate effect. Home Affairs Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha deregistered SACCORD for allegedly engaging itself in activities likely to compromise State security. In his letter he had noticed with displeasure that the organisation was engaging itself in activities inimical and dangerous to State security. "In accordance with the powers conferred in me by the Societies Act Cap 13(1)(a) of the laws of Zambia, I have decided to deregister your organisation with immediate effect," the order letter read. Shikapwasha further stated that following his order of deregistration, all activities pertaining to SACCORD had been suspended forthwith."

Recently SACCORD submitted to the Constitution Review Commission where it, among other issues, said that civil and military relations should be enhanced. SACCORD also advocated for the State Public Order Act bill and the laws supporting the media in Zambia. It also held a workshop for trade unions and parliamentarians on the understanding of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) concept in partnership with the ministry of Foreign Affairs. SACCORD was founded in 1999 by a group of activists and scholars who attended a United Nations peace mission and later realised the need to be engaged in peace initiative in the region. (The Times of Zambia, Ndola)

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