The PF government has been reminded that Zambia’s new constitution will only stand the test of time and command the respect of all citizens if it is adopted through a referendum.
The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for the People Driven Constitution says government should keep it in mind, while pondering the enactment of the new constitution that the document must been endorsed and approved by the people.
Speaking during a panel discussion in Lusaka this morning under the theme: ‘Dialogue on the enactment of the new constitution’, Grand Coalition member Cleophas Lungu said the Coalition still maintains that the foundation of new constitution must be based on the Bill of Rights.
Father Lungu, who is also Oasis Forum and Zambia Episcopal Conference Spokesperson, states that for the fact that the Bill of Rights has been tempered with, it must also follow that the final draft constitution has to be adopted through a national referendum.
He notes that it will be an act of sidelining and suppressing the ultimate will of the people of Zambia, if the final draft constitution in its current form is enacted into law by Parliament without first being subjected to the referendum.
And speaking on the same panel, Grand Coalition member Linda Kasonde also reiterated the reason why the Grand Coalition thinks the country’s new constitution cannot be amended in piecemeal through Parliament as allegedly proposed by government.
Ms. Kasonde, who is also Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) vice president, says the coalition has holds this contention because voting in Parliament when enacting laws is done on partisan lines and therefore people cannot depend on the good will of lawmakers.
Another panelist Gladys Mutukwa has stressed the need to have a systematic roadmap for enacting the country’s new constitution.
Ms. Mutukwa states that the roadmap government has released for the current constitution making process moves two steps forward and five step backwards.