The Grand Coalition on the Demand for the People Driven constitution has accused the PF government of intending to prolong the process of enacting the new republican constitution under the guise of refining the process as outlined in its released roadmap.
Grand Coalition Chairperson Fr Leonard Chiti says the government’s roadmap seeks to indirectly open the consultative process which was earlier concluded by the Technical Committee on the Constitution.
Fr Chiti says this will be made possible through the Terms of Reference which government is calling in its roadmap, the Constitution Implementation Team (CTI).
Father Chiti states that his Coalition’s view is that as opposed to reopening the consultative process in this manner, government should instead reconstitute a small team from the Technical Committee which should finalize the final draft constitution by harmonizing some of the contentious issues.
He has told a media briefing held in Lusaka today that this small team from the Technical Committee which the Grand Coalition is proposing should do this by way of incorporating public comments that will be made during the validation process.
Father Chiti also notes that for the fact that the rhetoric that is coming from government does not seem to match with what is contained in its released constitution roadmap, it is testimony enough that government is not committed to pursuing the referendum as a mode of adopting the new constitution.
He says the Grand Coalition has so far analyzed utterances by President Edgar Lungu on constitution making process which have clearly shown that the new PF administration is pursuing a partial amendment of the constitution.
The Grand Coalition Chairperson has stated that they will not accept partial amendments to the constitution.
Fr Chiti says the Grand Coalition is to this effect recommending to government that the appointment of the commissioners for the national Constitution Referendum be done after amendments to the Referendum Commission Act.
And Father further states that the Coalition is additionally recommending to government to include in its released roadmap the publication of the Constitution Draft Bill besides ensuring that the Bill is verbatim of the final draft constitution.