The Grand Coalition on the Zambia Constitution has vowed that it will continue to pray and press for the immediate release of the Second Draft Constitution in spite of the government’s threats on the lives of citizens demanding for the enactment of the new constitution.
Featuring on the Millenium Radio Special Programme on Friday evening, coalition chairperson Fr Leonard Chiti said getting the new constitution was not the prerogative of the government but in people’s hands.
“The fact that we continue to pray for the release of the second draft constitution is testament to the fact that maybe God is still testing our patience to see whether we can wait for an opportune moment when we will have a constitution that we have been waiting for, for a very long time,” Fr Chiti said. “Getting the constitution is in the hands of Zambian people because the people voted into government a party that said once you vote for us we are going to deliver xyz and the constitution was one of those.”
He reminded the PF government over the promise they gave during their campaigns.
“There is an agreement between two parties and one party which is the PF has not honored their side of the bargain. They entered into a social contract with the Zambian people and the Zambian people said we believe what you are saying and we trust you, therefore we are giving our vote,” Fr Chiti said.
And caller to the programme named Lawrence questioned why there were people making comment on some new Clauses in the Second Draft Constitution when it had not yet been released to the public.
In his response, Fr Chiti wondered whether the people who were commenting on the new constitution had seen the second and final draft.
“What are these people commenting on? Are they commenting on the First Draft or the Second Draft? Throughout the consultation processes, every section of our society was represented at the province level, at the district level at the sector group level and at the national convention,” he said. “So where were these people when we were discussing the draft?”
He said things had become hazy on the constitution making process as there had a lot of conflicting statements from government officials.
“That where things got hazy because first, they were told they had to print 10 copies and then they would determine what happens thereafter. Then we were told that those 10 copies were for ceremonial purposes. Again we were told we would have a draft in December and we were getting very concerned and we realised that to get the results we needed, we had to pressure government,” Fr Chiti said.
He said the coalition would use all legal means at its disposal to ensure that what was promised to the Zambian people was delivered.
“One of the things that worry us is obviously is that we have to apply for a permit when we should not be applying for a permit. We should be notifying the police that we intend to gather at such and such a place,” Fr Chiti said. “We cannot believe that in this country we can allow ourselves to spend billions of kwacha on an exercise and then lose the one important output of that undertaking,” Fr Chiti said.