Do not bow to executive pressure, constitution drafters advised

The Black Friday Campaigners and consortia of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have appealed to the Technical Committee Drafting the Zambian Constitution not to bow to pressure from the executive but stick to its Terms of Reference of submitting the Final Draft Constitution simultaneously to the President and the public in order to maintain their integrity.

And the campaigners have reminded President Michael Sata that he does not only have a duty to honour his promises of delivering a durable people-driven constitution but an obligation to facilitate a smooth and controversy-free process of enacting the new constitution.

Interim spokesperson for Black Friday Campaign Guess Nyirenda said the technical committee was faced with a challenge of raising above political pressure from the executive to do what was right and good for the country.

Nyirenda said:  “It is either the Technical Committed succumbs to the pressure by the Government to do what is wrong by going against the terms of reference handed down to the committee when President Sata was constituting the technical team or, “depending on which of the two decisions the Committee takes, Zambians and the whole world will either condemn them (individually and collectively) or commend them for what they would have done for this country in its struggle to have a new constitution. They will either be instant heroes and heroines or they will be pariahs in their own country if they succumb to the pressure of the appointing authority,” Nyirenda said.

Nyirenda said that the head of state had an obligation to ensure that a people’s driven constitution was delivered.

He said it should be borne in the minds of the PF leadership and that of President Sata in particular that they had a golden opportunity to deliver a people’s driven constitution to its logical conclusion.

He said delaying the process would not only postpone the issue but also heighten people’s anxiety while at the same time erode even the little confidence that citizens have in the PF Government.

“Mr. Sata and the PF should realize that the most crucial benchmark of their delivery on the promises is the people driven constitution with the 10 basic minimum principles which must be adopted through a referendum.  Mr. President, Zambians are waiting, deliver the constitution NOW, 31st December is around the corner, listen to the voice of the people, which in essence is the voice of God the Almighty,” Nyirenda said in a statement.