Constitution process dead – NGOCC

The constitution making process has reached its dead end with the technical committee being ordered to deliver the draft constitution, the Constitution Bill and the constitution report to Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary administration Joseph Akafumba instead of President Michael Sata as was stipulated in the terms of reference, NGOCC board chairperson Beatrice Grillo has observed.

Grillo has challenged the government to explain why it had allowed the technical committee drafting the constitution to hand over the draft constitution, constitution bill and the constitution report to the Permanent secretary at the Ministry of Justice instead of delivering it to President Michael as stipulated in the terms of reference.

Grillo said that the constitution making process was from the beginning a failed project because there was no political will from President Sata and his government to deliver a people driven constitution to Zambians.

Grillo said that it was unacceptable that the document had finally found itself at the Ministry of Justice when Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba informed the nation that the committee was going to hand over the document to the President.

She said government had completely discredited the constitution making process by taking it to a permanent secretary who was not the appointing authority of the technical committee stating that Zambians have yet again been taken for a ride on the constitution making process.

She said President Sata and his government would have to be ready to face the wrath of Zambians for recklessly wasting money on a programme they knew was nothing but a public relations campaign to win the votes of the people.

“We want the document to be handed to the appointing authority and not to the ministry of Justice. We do not know what they will do to the document and we want to make sure we have the right document that will be read by the executive and the general public simultaneously,” Grillo said.

Grillo said that the PF was a “stubborn” government and that if they continued showing arrogance and impunity towards the people that voted for them, they risked leaving government in the most humiliating manner ever suffered by a ruling party.

She said President Sata should stop fishing for excuses for failing to fulfill his promises and should change his attitude in the handling of national affairs because  he was not the beginning and the end in Zambia’s democratization process.

“We want full development that will benefit our people and if the government is just hiding in the name of constructing roads, we going to show them that even in the midst of massive infrastructure development, Zambians are still annoyed over their failure to deliver the constitution. That is why we want the constitution to be released now so that everyone is protected by the document, because not everyone is benefiting from the road construction,” Grillo said.

She said that politicians wanted to manipulate the document in a bid to safeguard their interest, adding that now that the technical committee had handed over the document, the Zambians expected nothing less than transparency and accountability.

Grillo said that the Zambians would not stop demanding for the release of the draft constitution because the document was not for the ruling party alone.