Govt keen on law…Sata assures of a people-driven Constitution

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•PRESIDENT Michael Sata poses for a group photograph with heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Zambia following a closed-door meeting at State House in Lusaka yesterday. Picture by STEPHEN KAPAMBWE
•PRESIDENT Michael Sata poses for a group photograph with heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Zambia following a closed-door meeting at State House in Lusaka yesterday. Picture by STEPHEN KAPAMBWE

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has said Government is keen to deliver a people-driven Constitution.
Speaking during a closed-door meeting with members of the diplomatic corps and international organisations accredited to Zambia, Mr Sata assured the nation, the diplomats and various partners that Government was still committed to the process of Constitution review.
This is according to a statement released by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah yesterday.
“In this regard, after the receipt of the report from the Technical Committee, Government will consider the recommendations because we have to factor the logistical and financial repercussions in order not to derail other pressing developmental projects,” he said.
On the issue of parliamentary by-elections, President Sata said the Government acknowledged that democracy, good governance and the rule of law were essential for national development.
He said it could not be disputed that there was distribution of inducements and other malpractices during the 2011 elections.
Mr Sata said the Patriotic Front (PF) felt that even if it won the polls, it would have won more seats and the presidential election by a wider margin had it not been for the malpractices.
“Individual losing parliamentary candidates have decided to exercise their Constitutional right and the courts have made their independent decisions to nullify some elections and consequently, by-elections have to be held.
“This is what the laws of the land prescribe and as a responsible Government we have to follow the law,” Mr Sata said.
He said Government was committed to elections that were free of violence and free of electoral corruption.
The Head of State said corruption had the potential of robbing Zambians of their right to choosing their candidates and could lead to organised crime in elections.
President Sata also said Government had focused on four key sectors which included
education, health, agriculture and local government and housing, as evidenced by the increased funding allocations in the 2014 Budget.
He said Zambia would continue working with the international community and strengthen the already existing good ties for mutual benefits.
Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana, Tuelonyana Oliphant said the increasing number of diplomatic representation in Zambia was an indication of the respect which the international community had for the country’s values and principles, which were the cornerstone of the social, cultural and economic transformation.
Ms Oliphant said the international community appreciated Government’s focus on human resource development, improvement of health services, and provision of piped water and good sanitation facilities as essential factors for economic growth and poverty reduction.
“The ongoing infrastructure development projects to link Zambia with its neighbours and the booming construction industry such as the upcoming international airport, residential and office buildings, shopping malls, internet connectivity and provision of other social services are some of the indicators of a growing economy,” Ms Oliphant said.
The meeting was attended by Vice-President Guy Scott, PF Secretary General and Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba, and some Cabinet ministers.

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