Constitution sabotaged

The government has sabotaged the constitution making process and has embarked on a smear campaign to discredit the Technical Committee so as to re-start the process to include undemocratic and draconian clauses that have been rejected by Zambians, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president Andrew Ntewewe has said.
Ntewewe has however warned that Zambians would not accept anything less than the new constitution this year and that the schemes by government to frustrate the constitution making process would be resisted with mass demonstrations.
Ntewewe said it was unbelievable for government to have claimed ignorance of the document when they had securely kept the soft copy of both the Draft Constitution and the report of the Technical Committee at the Ministry of Justice.
He said it was clear that government had leaked the document to sabotage the process because it had been against progressive and popular clauses such as the 50+1 percent and the presidential running mate.
He said officers from the Ministry of Justice were part of the technical committee that was drafting the constitution and that after the process was finished; the committee had surrendered the soft copy to the Ministry of Justice where it had been securely kept until it was leaked.
Ntewewe said it was baffling to hear from President Sata that he did not know anything about the draft constitution when his own Minister of Information and Broadcasting had told the nation that government had received the ten copies of the draft and that they were studying it.
He said there was no doubt that the Draft Constitution was leaked from the Ministry of Justice for purposes of discrediting the document and the technical committee so that the process could completely be collapsed.
Ntewewe said since had not refuted and doubted the contents of the document that had been leaked, it was important for President Sata to give a road map that should include the immediate setting the referendum commission.
He said the national convention on the constitution had recommended that a referendum should be held in August this year and that it was the expectations of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the church and the general citizenry that the referendum should be held in August.
“The only people who had access to the document are the officials at the Ministry of Justice and that is the only place where it could have been leaked from. The idea of probing the technical committee would certainly open up a Pandora box and they might end up investigating the Minister of Justice and his Permanent Secretaries. So let government allow the committee to submit the document and we want to remind President Sata that the referendum is not negotiable or debatable. Sata is not giving Zambians a constitution, the people are going to give themselves the constitution,” Ntewewe said.