The Law Association of Zambia has implored Zambians to continue pushing the Patriotic Front government for the release of the final draft constitution.
LAZ president George Chisanga expressed happiness that Zambians knew what they wanted and it was only prudent for them to continue putting pressure on the executive to release the final draft constitution.
Featuring on Millennium Radio, Mr. Chisanga said that it was sad that the constitution making process had dragged this far and was now shrouded in unnecessary controversy.
“We must understand that many members of the public know what they want. It is sad that the constitution making process is shrouded in some controversy. We were gratified ourselves as LAZ when at our AGM the Vice President Dr. Guy Scott made a call to the professional body to try and assist and develop consensus around the constitutional making process,” said Mr. Chisanga.
He said that since Vice President’s call on LAZ to help on the issue, the association had been interacting with other cooperating partners in the fight for a people driven constitution.
Mr. Chisanga noted that it was gratifying that Zambians were decided on what they wanted in-terms of the kind of a constitution they desire.
He said that what was disappointing was that issues to do with the new people driven constitution had taken a long time since 1972, saying that on the current process under the PF his association had demanded that the process should have a legal frame work in order to protect the content and process itself.
“ When we started talking about the enactment of the new constitution was that, one of the key issues we made and demanded for as a profession body was that we should have a legal frame within which it would both protect the process and the content.
“ At that time it did not look as if it was a big or crucial point, but later people understood that LAZ meant well when we wanted the process to have a legal frame work that protects the constitution,” he said.
He said that it was disturbing that there was a tag of war between the civil society and government because of lack of consensus.
“The civil society and other interested groups are demanding for the release of the draft constitution and on the other hand you have a government that is saying we have this process going on and we want to pass the constitution without embracing everybody.
“Our expectation as LAZ is that the Zambian people are only going to have a leg to stand on if the government embraces the other stakeholders and move in one breath, as long as we are going to sit in different groups and stick to the suspicions that surrounds the making process we shall not have a constitution,” said Mr. Chisanga.
Mr. Chisanga said that there was need for both groups to clear the way and move as one because the country was on crossroads.
“We are at crossroads and we cannot deny that, we need this constitution but also we cannot be pulling in different directions.”