Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula is hopeful that the Constitution Bill will be out this week and published in the government gazette, as provided for in the Constitution.
Dr. Simbyakula has appealed to all Zambians to study the contents of the Constitution Bill and forward their comments and observations to their representatives.
He said any bill which is intended to alter the Constitution had to be published 30 days before first reading, so that Zambians would have an opportunity to make comments and observations through their respective representatives.
“We want everyone to approach this exercise calmly and honestly for the benefit not just for us but for posterity, for our children and children’s children. We want it to stand the test of time and it can only do so if people go into this exercise putting Zambia first,” he said.
Dr. Simbyakula said this in an interview with the Journalists in Livingstone on Monday, after the opening of an Induction Course for newly appointed Judges of the COMESA Court of Justice (CCJ) at AVANI Victoria Falls Resort.
Earlier, he urged judges at the COMESA Court of Justice (CCJ), to contribute to the growth of COMESA through speedy delivery of justice.
Dr. Simbyakula said speedy delivery of justice was critical in enhancing the image of COMESA, and confidence within residents in the region.
“That way litigants in our region will feel confident and be encouraged to refer disputes to the COMESA Court of Justice,” he said.
He said COMESA was established to bring together member states from Eastern and Southern Africa for the purpose of economic and social cooperation.
“As the economies of our member states grow so will the level of interaction and purpose. As a result of that, the number of matters that shall be referred to the court is bound to increase,” he said.
Earlier, Lady Justice Lombe Chibesakunda said the outgoing CCJ bench led by Judge President Nzamba Kitonga had done a commendable job of developing jurisprudence of the court and creating a legally conducive environment of doing business within the COMESA region.
Justice Chibesakunda who is also the CCJ incoming President, acknowledged the huge task ahead of the new judges.
“New judges have a huge task ahead of them. We need to keep the light of the CCJ shining and take it to greater heights in terms of service delivery and jurisprudence, as we strive to gain a better understanding of the regional integration particularly with the launch of the tripartite free trade area,” she said.
Justice Chibesakunda further said the new judges would face challenges ahead of them from different experiences, civil systems, national origins and cultural differences but would still need to make decisions based on the reasoning of the law.
“We must be seen to transcend our personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness of economic adjudication,” she said.