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Political CSOs in check

CATHERINE MUMBA, Lusaka
THE Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) says there is need to ensure civil society organisations are non-partisan and increase their presence in rural areas this year.
ZCSD programmes manager Pascal Bwalya said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that his organisation, being an umbrella body, is aware that some CSOs are “dangerously inclined” to some political parties, which is not supposed to be the case.
“CSOs are meant to be non-partisan, but of course there are times when it becomes necessary to comment on issues. So, as ZCSD, we will ensure that they are non-partisan to restore sanity and to make sure they are fulfilling the purpose for which they exist,” he said.
Mr Bwalya said there is need for CSOs to be strengthened in rural areas unlike concentrating on urban areas where people can easily access information.
He said the rural citizenry are still lagging in terms of understanding issues of national interest and Government policies.
“We will have to work with political leaders such as councillors and members of Parliament to get the rural citizenry especially to understand important issues of governance through ward development committees so that they can become active participants in national development,” Mr Bwalya said.

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