CSOs threaten countrywide demos

A consortium of civil society organisations has threatened that it would soon embark on national-wide demonstrations to press for the immediate release of the second and final draft of the constitution because there were signs that the government was not willing to meet its promises.

The civil society organisations have said the wrangles that have engulfed the ruling party should not in any way derail the constitution making process.

In a Black Friday petition to the technical committee drafting the constitution, the consortium spokesperson Guess Nyirenda said government should consider sourcing funds for the referendum in next year’s budget.

Nyirenda has demanded that the committee drafting the constitution should release the second final draft constitution with immediate effect and set the date for the event.

The organisations have charged that the PF regime has betrayed the trust and confidence of Zambians by politically procrastinating the constitution making process which should have been done in the first 90 days of the ruling party coming into government.

Nyirenda has also demanded a clear road map and legal framework on the constitution making process and that a referendum commission should immediately be constituted to oversee the remaining part of the process.

Nyirenda who is Operation Young Vote (OYV) executive director said it was disheartening that the technical committee was now afraid to tell the public when the final draft constitution would be released because the document was being politicised by the party in government.

The consortium has charged that the Patriotic Front (PF) government and the Technical Committee drafting the Constitution have betrayed Zambians and there is a danger that Zambia can politically and economically breakdown because of the current defective constitution.

Nyirenda said the consortium was not going to accept timeless deadlines for the constitution making process and has given the technical committee a ten day ultimatum in which to respond to its demands.

“A Constitution can build or break the nation. The continued infringement by the governors on the rights and freedoms of the people is due to a defective constitution. The government and its technical committee drafting the final constitution have betrayed the trust and confidence of the Zambians on the constitution making process,” Nyirenda said.