‘Don’t doubt Govt’s position on Constitution-making process’ – Kapeya

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MINISTER of Information and Broadcasting Services Mwansa Kapeya

CHIEF Government spokesperson Mwansa Kapeya says it is unfair for the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) to doubt Government’s commitment to the ongoing constitution-making process.
And Mr Kapeya says the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) is being economical of the truth by suggesting that the Patriotic Front (PF) government has underperformed on its programmes and promises during the year ending 2013.
Mr Kapeya, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, says contrary to concerns by the CCZ, Government, under the leadership of President Sata, has aptly demonstrated its unwavering commitment to delivering a people-driven constitution.
“This can be seen in, among other interventions, President Sata’s establishment of the Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambian Constitution, which collected views from the people throughout the country at district, provincial, sector and national levels,” he said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Kapeya said if President Sata was not committed to the constitution-making process, as alleged by the CCZ, he would not have constituted the Technical Committee to draft the Constitution in the first place.
He said when the Technical Committee asked for more time to finish the work, Government granted the request, including additional resources, a further sign of its commitment to ensure the country comes up with a durable and truly people-driven constitution.
Mr Kapeya said the comments attributed to President Sata in Mansa recently should not be misconstrued to mean he has back-pedalled on his commitment to a people-driven constitution.
He said Government is now waiting to receive the draft constitution from the Technical Committee in line with the December 31 deadline, to determine the way forward.
“The attacks from the CCZ on Government over the ongoing constitution-making process are, therefore, unfair and unjustified as Government has not yet received the draft constitution from the Technical Committee,” Mr Kapeya said.
And Mr Kapeya said contrary to JCTR’s misleading and misplaced assertions, Government is on course in implementing development programmes.
“Statistics, in this regard, indicate that formal sector employment rose by over 58,000 in the first nine months of 2013. The figure excludes thousands other jobs created in the economy as a whole, translating in more money in people’s pockets,” he said.
Mr Kapeya said this is the first time in Zambia’s history that Government has made a clear and specific commitment to job creation in such a robust and ambitious manner.
He said the agenda reflects Government’s total commitment to broad-based and inclusive economic growth where all benefit from the country’s development.
Mr Kapeya said Government’s policy is to shift to better designed social protection programmes such as the social cash transfer scheme that has been successfully piloted in several districts around the country.
He said Government awarded public workers salary increments of up to 200 percent and scaled up the implementation of the Link Zambia 8,000 road project.
“It is, therefore, surprising that JCTR has elected to underplay the foregoing and other landmark achievements this government has, and continues to score in uplifting the welfare of the Zambian people,” he said.
JCTR executive director Leonard Chiti is quoted as saying the year ending 2013 has been the most painful period for most Zambians because of the failure by Government to better the livelihood of the people.

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SOURCE: Zambia Daily Mail

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