SACCORD proposes guarantor for Constitution

THE Southern Africa Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) has appealed to the Government to appoint at a guarantor once a roadmap for the enactment of the new Constitution is agreed upon to ensure that there is no change of goal posts.

SACCORD executive director Boniface Cheembe said the guarantor should be able to command the confidence of both Government and other stakeholders in the constitution making-process.

“Once we agree on the roadmap and timeframe, we don’t want to have the situation whereby people change their mind and the goal posts begin to shift. A guarantor will ensure that whatever stakeholders would agree upon is adhered to,” he said.

Mr Cheembe said in an interview yesterday that a guarantor should be an eminent Zambian or a non-Zambian but prominent figure.

He said people would propose names of eminent persons who could be appointed as guarantor before stakeholders who include civil society organisations, churches and Government, agree on the proposed names.

Mr Cheembe said SACCORD would not like a situation where it would be difficult for the country to achieve the new Constitution.

He said one of the problems the constitution making-process had suffered from was lack of a timeframe and that a guarantor would help in such circumstances to achieve the new document.

Mr Cheembe said it was commendable that Government had finally released the draft Constitution and advised stakeholders to focus on the contents of the document.

He said there was need for stakeholders to build consensus on the contents of the Constitution and ultimately the enactment of the new Constitution.

Mr Cheembe said in order for stakeholders to achieve consensus there was need for a roadmap but stated that in the absence of that it would be very difficult for stakeholders to achieve consensus.

“We appeal to the Government to release the roadmap as quickly as possible, if possible during the course of this week,” he said.

He said the release of the roadmap should not drag on for a long time like it took Government to release the final draft Constitution.

Mr Cheembe said SACCORD would continue to advocate the  immediate release of the roadmap and that if the Government was committed to the constitution-making process it should provide it as soon as possible.