Lusaka - President Michael Sata on Friday dismissed
growing opposition concerns that he wants to turn Zambia into a single-party
state, amid accusations of a crackdown on his political opponents.
"I want to assure the Zambian people that our
government has no intentions, whatsoever, to turn this country in a
one-party-state," Sata said in an address to parliament.
"The government is fully committed to upholding the
rule of law including separation of powers."
Since taking office in September 2011, Sata's
administration has largely refused the opposition permits to hold public
It has also launched a raft of corruption cases against
former government officials who are now in the opposition.
Sata also said the constitutional reform process launched
by his predecessors several years ago was nearing completion.
"The final draft constitution will be ready by the
end of this year."
In his inaugural address to parliament in 2011, Sata had
vowed to deliver a new, people-driven constitution within three months as part
of his drive to weed out corruption and change the way Zambia does business.
Sata vowed to diversify the economy of the copper-rich
nation, investing in agriculture and tourism.