THE Grand Coalition on the Constitution making process in Eastern province has objected to government’s decision to have the Ministry of Justice take centre stage on the constitution making process as it fears that government may hijack it.
And the Grand coalition says there is need for government to provide a proper legal framework that would guide the constitution making process through an Act of Parliament.
Grand coalition coordinator for Eastern Province Maxson Nkhoma said government should also appoint a referendum committee and set up a secretariat that would receive submissions for inclusion or removal from the draft document.
Mr Nkhoma said government should also provide clear terms of reference to the referendum committee which should also include among other things deadline of finally enacting a new constitution as opposed to giving empty and retrogressive statements to Zambians which did not inspire hope and confidence to the general citizenry.
He said the CSPR was disappointed with government’s failure to provide a roadmap before the floor of the house that would guide the constitution making process.
“Zambians need to know what next step will be taken by government upon completion of getting submissions from the citizens and the number of days given to citizens in which to make their comments through submission from the citizens.
“The number of days given to citizens in which to make their comments through submissions to the Ministry of Justice should also be indicated,” he said. Mr Nkhoma said that if government was allowed to handle the constitution making process at the Justice Ministry, it could spell doom for the people of Zambia.
He said government should not play with the constitution and delay its enactment.
Mr Nkhoma however commended government for the final release of the draft copies of the constitution to the public and noted that it would be unfair to the Zambian people if they went to the 2016 polls under the current constitution.
He said government should up its effort and give the final document to the people of Zambia before December 2015.