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By Godfrey Olukya 4-10-2012

Opposition parties in Zambia have formed a coalition through which they intend to protect themselves against what what they referred to as oppression by ruling party.

Through their lawyers, they have announced the formation of ‘ The Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights’ (CDDR), an organization which will work within both local and international legal structures to halt the violation of civil rights currently taking place under the Patriotic Front party administration of President Michael Sata.

The lawyers issued a statement saying ‘ The opposition political parties in Zambia have formed a coalition.  The formation of this coalition has become necessary because of the growing illegality and violence initiated by Patriotic Front members abusing state power to advance their private and political interests.’

They said that being lawyers dedicated to the rule of law and democratic  values, they are duty-bound to assist those whose political, civil and constitutional rights are violated.

‘The coalition’s doors are open to all those who have suffered unlawful treatment at the hands of the Patriotic Front government over their beliefs, irrespective of ideology, ethnic origin, or agenda.’ their statement added.

The statement which was signed by renown Zambian lawyer Sakwiba Sikota, who represents a number of opposition members said that among the first actions of the coalition will be the submission of a comprehensive document detailing the Patriotic Front’s legal violations and judicial interference for submission before relevant international bodies.

‘It is our intention to make the international community aware of the current abuse of rights and threats of violence being deployed by this government, paving the way for future prosecution,’ ” the statement said.



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