‘Draft ready before Dec’

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THE Technical Committee drafting the Constitution says it will work expeditiously to have the final draft Constitution printed and handed over to President Michael Sata and the public before December this year.
Technical Committee chairperson Annel Silungwe attributed the delays to a number of milestone works which should be done before achieving the final document.
He, however, could not give a specific date because of certain activities such as the procurement of services for printing and editing which could impact on work progress.
The works include the consideration of the second and final constitution, editing, finalisation, printing and eventual hand-over.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday to update the public on the progress so far, Mr Justice Silungwe said the Committee would next week spend time to review and confirm the contents of the second draft Constitution.
This would be a quality control stage to ensure instructions of the Committee had been adequately adhered to especially on proposals and changes by the drafts persons.
“The final draft Constitution will be submitted to the Republican President and members of the public simultaneously.
“It is our sincere hope that the remaining process can be concluded at the earliest opportunity and this will not go on up to December. The report will be ready before that,” Mr Justice Silungwe said.
He said the next stage would be that of editing of the second draft and final Constitution to take into account comments and resolutions.
The process, he said, would later be subjected to editing by independent editors whose comments would also be considered before giving the document to legislators for finalisation.
“This is a normal practice for documents of this nature. The editors will be required to ensure that the different parts of the final draft are accurate, consistent and succinct.
“After this the final report will be prepared to explain the rationale behind every article and clause which will be vital to all stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Justice Silungwe said the process this time around was involving and different from previous Constitution-making processes and promised that his Committee would continue to keep the nation informed as the process progressed.
“What has not been appreciated is that this making of this particular Constitution has been complicated.
“We are mandated to come up with a document that will last the test of time. This Constitution is different,” he said.

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