THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has asked government to release the Draft Constitution and subject it to a referendum and not to further debate it because citizens have made substantial contributions already.
LAZ president George Chisanga says further debate on the draft constitution will not provide any positive responses as this was adequately done through submissions to the technical committee which was drafting the constitution.
“Government must immediately carry out its duty by releasing the draft constitution without any further delay.
“LAZ particularly urges the President to act as mandated by article 44 of the constitution and ensure that the new constitution is enacted through the process which was in contemplation when he appointed the technical committee on drafting this new constitution,” Mr Chisanga said.
He said in a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday that people provided input during district, provincial and national conventions where each clause of the draft constitution was reviewed.
Mr Chisanga said the most desirable and democratic means is to subject the draft constitution to a referendum so that people can participate in the finalisation of the process.
“According to the mandate given by Government to the technical committee on drafting the constitution, the process was subjected to nationwide consultation when the committee went around the country collecting views from the people,” he said.
Mr Chisanga said the technical committee was mandated to release the draft constitution to the public so that they could study and determine whether they agree with its contents.
Mr Chisanga disagreed with the call for fresh debate on the matter because it has the potential to cause a breakdown in the process, adding that Government has not provided a clear position as to who will direct the debates considering that the mandate of the technical committee ended.
Vice-President Guy Scott and Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba have called for further debate on the final Draft Constitution once it is released.
Government has stated that the Draft Constitution will be released to the public after approval by Cabinet.
It has also stated that it has to also attend to the challenges in other sectors like education, health and agriculture.