Government commended for rejecting constitution committee’s application

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The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) in Livingstone district has commended government for rejecting the application by Technical Committee on Drafting the national constitution‘s to extend its constitution making process mandate for six months.

FODEP chairperson in Livingstone Mwape Musonda said the foundation agrees with the reasons advanced by the Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba on the need to allow the progress on the process.

Mr. Musonda told ZANIS today that saving the money that could be used during the extension can help the country finance other programmes of equal importance.

He noted that the constitution making process has been an extremely long journey which has gobbled a lot of money.

He said Zambians were anxious to see the conclusion of the constitution making process.

Mr. Musonda stated that the application for a six months extension of the committee’s mandate was not only too much but also exposes the inconsistence, lack of proper planning and defined budgeting on the part of the committee.

He said FODEP still has confidence in the committee as it can re-adjust its programmes and deliver the much awaited document to the Zambian people within the initial stipulated time.

He commended the Patriotic Front (PF) government for showing commitment by financing the current constitution making process up to the current stage.

Mr. Musonda has since urged government to provide a legal framework to guide the constitution making process.

He has also called on government to come up with a defined roadmap that would guide the referendum to ensure that the process of adoption the constitution is participatory, transparent and inclusive.

He further said as Zambia heads towards the enactment of a new constitution, it was prudent that the country does not once again squander a golden opportunity of developing a republican constitution that will stand the test of time.

Yesterday, government rejected the Technical Committee on Drafting the National Constitution’s application for a six months extension on constitution making process.

The committee was scheduled to hand over the final draft constitution to President Michael Sata on June 30th, 2013.

Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba said allowing an extension of six months would force government to come up with a supplementary budget of up to K44 million rebased (K44 billion).