Release draft constitution now

The Non Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating member organisations have demanded the immediate and simultaneous release of draft constitution to the public and president and have strongly objected to schemes by the Ministry of Justice to only print ten copies of the final draft for President Michael Sata.

NGOCC has charged that the PF had betrayed Zambians by denying them access to the final draft of the constitution adding that Zambians had voted for the PF because of the promise they made that a truly popular constitution was going to be delivered.

Speaking during the 17 th annual general assembly for members, NGOCC board chairperson Beatrice Grillo said that the organisation had observed with great concern the delays by the government to facilitate the enactment of a people’s driven constitution.

Grillo said that the members were vehemently opposed to the directive by the Justice minister Wynter Kabimba that only ten copies of the draft constitution should be released to the executive without mention as to when the public would be have access to the same important document.

She said that the legitimacy of the constitution was derived from the people as the custodians of the document and it was unacceptable that the executive was attempting to hijack the process.

“The directive to print ten copies only is defiant to the terms of reference that required the technical committee to make public disclosure of the constitution released simultaneously to the executive and the public. And the final draft constitution must therefore be release immediately,” she said.

Grillo reiterated that the government should allow the committee drafting the constitution to operate independently and within their mandate in accordance to their terms of reference without any interference.

She reaffirmed the stance by the members that the new constitution should be adopted through the referendum which was the position of the PF government as stipulated in their manifesto.