Needs assessment mission
EISA's experts Funanani Nemaheni and Naphtaly Sekamogeng carried out the NAM in Lusaka, Zambia from 17 -21 June 2013. The NAM findings were based on the information gathered from consultative meetings with the two member organisations of the ESN-SA and other relevant stakeholders that were interviewed. Those targeted during the assessment were drawn from five (5) general groups namely the ESN-SA Members in Zambia: Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) and Zambia National Women's Lobby (ZNWL) , ESN-SA member organisations; the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) – established as an autonomous body by the 1996 Constitution, Article 76 and empowered to resolve conflicts and disputes through conciliation or mediation and to set up conflict management committees to resolve disputes; CSOs: comprising of mostly non-governmental organizations working on democracy, governance and election, justice and gender/women related issues; and Political Parties – both the ruling and oppositions parties and media groups- covering political/elections related profiles.
The mission was fruitful as the team consulted seven interlocutors who shared first-hand information on elections-related violence and capacity of the CSOs in the field. Engagement of each of these groups of stakeholders was crucial in generating the necessary information in support of PEV-SADC. This report seeks to highlight the findings and feedback from the assessment.
The Mission made the following noteworthy findings:
- Zambia is currently mid-cycle through its electoral cycle. The Electoral Commission of Zambia establishes Conflict Mediation Committees (CMCs) as alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve electoral disputes through mediation.
- CSOs in Zambia are members of the CMCs and they have been trained using the EISA conflict mediation curriculum in previous elections.
- The country's most contested law, the Public Order Act (POA), has been and still is being unreasonably used to prevent citizens from holding public meetings.
- Continuous conduct of by-elections has over stretched the human and financial resources of electoral stakeholder institutions and stakeholders, including the judiciary.
The outcome of the 2011 elections was widely judged free, fair and reflecting the will of the people. Despite the change in government, things still remain the same, including the economic performance and new government still perceive CSOs as opposition that instead of a collaborator (specifically, the political parties consulted during the mission warned that they will not be willing to be involved in a project involving CSOs because of lack of trust).
Please click on the title of the training for more information:
- Participation of the In-Country Researcher for Zambia to the First Observatory meeting and LEAD Curriculum development, 12-18 December 2015, Gaborone
- Leadership and Conflict Management training, 5-9 October 2015, Lusaka
- Leadership and Conflict Management training, 22 - 26 September 2014, Lusaka
- BRIDGE TTF: 11 – 22 November 2013, Lusaka