Open Society Foundation Executive Director Sunday Chanda has since advised the Patriotic Front Government against hiding under Section 5 of the Inquiries Act to dupe Zambians over the constitution-making process warning that they are likely to get their fingers burnt.
Section 5 of the Inquiries Act requires any commission or committee appointed under the piece of legislation to report their findings back to the appointing authority who happens to be the president in this case.
Mr Chanda notes that Zambia has in the past failed to produce a constitution that could stand the test of time because of Acts like the inquiries Act, which gave the president the monopoly over the process.
Mr Chanda says President Michael Sata should respect the wishes of the people on the constitution by not going the route of government producing a white paper indicating what it rejects and what it accepts.
He says the framers of the Inquiries Act never intended for it to be used for dribbling Zambians on important processes.
Mr Chanda adds that the law was never designed to subtract the wishes of the people from the constitution process.
He says it on this score, that there is no moral justification for Government’s demands for 10 (ten) copies to be printed.
He says all excuses given by the Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba, on behalf of Government, are baseless and targeted at sabotaging the constitution-making process.
Mr Chanda says such evil maneuvers are aimed at depriving Zambians of yet another opportunity for a constitution that would stand the test of time.
He laments that it is a shame that 50 years after Independence, Zambians can still be treated to the same old somersaulting schemes previous regimes always employed.
He notes that Zambia has failed to give itself a people-driven constitution for 50 years owing to mediocre and insecure leadership from the days of first president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
Mr Chanda says the PF must not allow itself to fall in the same trappings of UNIP’s insecurity and mediocrity on the question of the constitution.
He further states that any further attempts by Government to “steal the moment” from Zambians must receive a resounding NO from Zambians drawn from all walks of life.