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Democracy, good governance & the Rule of Law in Zambia

Democracy, good governance & the Rule of Law in Zambia

Tutu Fellow Linda Kasonde has written a follow-up article on governance in Africa. Previously, she examined the institutions that enable a country to function effectively for all its people - or not, as is the case in so many African countries.  In this article, which was published in the Lusaka Times, Kasonde looks at how important an independent judiciary can be in reining in the excesses of a corrupt leadership and holding even heads of state accountable.

The article, titled: We are the ones we are waiting for: Democracy, Good Governance and the Rule of Law, borrows the concluding line by June Jordan from her "Poem for South African Women" which was written after a massive protest by women against Pass laws in South Africa in 1978.  Similarly, without a strong and impartial judiciary, Kasonde argues, constitutionalism and the rule of law cannot be adhered to. But an engaged citizenry is needed - even with a strong judiciary - because courts do not move themselves.  Courageous citizens and bold and proactive lawyers are needed to take up challenging cases that touch on issues of the rule of law, constitutionalism and good governance to hold administrations' feet to the fire.  The rule of law is a powerful tool for an active citizenry in ensuring democracy and helping people to find and keep their power and be part of the solution of good governance.

She ends her article by saying: "So my challenge to all of us is: do not wait for democracy, the rule of law or good governance to happen; make it happen. As President Theodore Roosevelt said, 'do what you can, with what you have where you are'." 

Kasonde is the President of the Law Association of Zambia.

 

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Wednesday, 02 December 2020

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