Many civil and political activists believe the increasing levels of political violence are bad signals for a democracy like Zambia's. If this trend is not quickly halted, Zambia will be a difficult terrain for civil society work, especially works around good governance and the rule of law, peace education and conflict resolution, equitable distribution of the natural resources, transparency and accountability.
SACCORD believes that a successful democracy requires an open space through which citizens participate to shape their own political and governance destiny. Citizens must first understand ideas about citizenship, politics and government. They need knowledge to make decisions about policy preferences and the proper use of authority, along with the skills to voice out their concerns and to hold government officials accountable. At the same time, they need to exercise their rights, and have the political space to do so without unreasonable resistance or harassment from the state and its agents. For this reason, SACCORD held a one-day interactive forum on the Copperbelt Province particularly Kitwe where political discussants with vast experience in political science, governance and democracy, economics and other bonafide local citizens were brought to discuss issues around political violence and how this is an impediment to development and peace. Other topical issues that were deliberated on were of a socio-economic nature including accountability in public resource management with a focus on the mining slag popularly known as the ‘Black Mountain’ and land allocation. The objective of the Forum was to provide a platform through which citizens can express themselves on issues affecting them at a local level.