Pay for collapsed constitution-FODEP

The K115 million wasted on the collapsed constitution making process should be fully recovered from those responsible for an exercise they knew was not going to give Zambians the so much needed popular and people driven constitution, the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has demanded.

President Michael Sata has with immediate effect banned the debate over the constitution making process among his constitutional office bearers effectively collapsing the process that has already gobbled colossal amounts of money from the limited national purse through his Technical Committee that he has now discredited.

But the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has demanded that the K115 million spent on the constitution making process should with immediate effect be recovered from President Sata and his government because he had caused the collapse of the constitution making process.

FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi said should President Sata fail to pay back to the treasury the K115 million spent on the technical committee, any new government that would come into office should hold the Head of State solely responsible.

Chipenzi said no one forced President Sata to appoint a technical committee and to promise Zambians a new Constitution within 90 days and he should therefore not ban Zambians from debating the constitution.

He said the recklessness with which President Sata was handling important national issues was shocking adding that at the time the Head of State was appointing the Technical Committee, he was aware that the Zambia had a constitution which was flawed.

He has urged Zambians to take stock of all the abuses of public resources being perpetrated by President Sata so that at the appropriate time, he would be made accountable of his actions.

“Now that the President has decreed that Zambia does not need a constitution, we demand that the K115 million recklessly spent on the constitution making process should be paid back to the treasury. If President Sata fails to account for the money, whichever government that will come must hold him accountable. No one forced him to appoint the Technical Committee and no one forced him to promise that he was going to deliver a constitution within 90 days. This is the worst and most reckless government ever to govern this country and they must be stopped,” Chipenzi said.

He recalled that a lot of money had been spent on a number of commission of inquires among them, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), the Barotse and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) whose findings have never been made public.

Chipenzi has called on the Church, political parties the student movement and the civil society organisations to take stock of the abuses in the PF government so that when time comes, they will have to be made accountable.

President Sata on Wednesday ordered his cabinet ministers and other constitutional office holders to ignore those who were talking about the Constitution because Zambia had a constitution already in place, during a swearing in ceremony.

The Head of State said that public officers should not be part of the debate about a new Constitution because they were sworn into their different offices under the current Constitution.

President Sata said that there was   no Constitutional crisis in Zambia and therefore there was no need for the country to be panicking over a new document.

“We do not have a constitutional crisis in Zambia and if there was no Constitution, we would not be here because we are running three arms of Government, the Judiciary, Executive and Legislature Under the same Constitution some people want to keep talking about,” President Sata said.