THE Grand Coalition on the new Constitution says it is impressed that the wishes and aspirations of the Zambian people have been reflected in the released final draft Constitution.
The coalition said most of their submissions agreed upon during various consultative processes and provisions that were finalised in the National Constitution Convention had been adequately reflected in the document.
Grand Coalition chairperson, Beatrice Grillo applauded the Technical Committee on drafting the Constitution for taking on board most of the recommendations.
“The few provisions that have not been included can be dealt with in the subsidiary legislation and do therefore not see any significant challenge with speeding the finalisation of the national constitution,” Ms Grillo said.
She was speaking when she addressed the Press yesterday at NGOCC premises in Lusaka.
Government’s decision to release the draft constitution to the public for further scrutiny was timely and hoped the process for final document would be expedited.
“We note that most of our submissions on the provisions discussed and agreed during various consultative processes and provisions that were finalised during the National Constitution Convention have been adequately reflected in the draft, the wishes and aspirations of the Zambians are captured in the document,” she said.
The coalition had since asked Government to come up with a road map and a clear time frame for the finalisation of the Constitution.
Ms Grillo said the coalition was also demanding for a referendum to be held soon and was free to be consulted and be eganged by Government concerning a clear road map.
“We reject piecemeal amendments to the Constitution and wish to reiterate our call that the whole document must be subjected to a referendum and subsequently a complete enactment,” she said.
Ms Grillo said the demise of Mr Michael Sata and the perceived succession debate that ensued within the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party was a reminder of the shortcomings of current Constitution and called for committed and visionary leadership to enact a Constitution that Zambians could interpreted without challenges.
“Had our leadership not failed us over the years on the constitution reform process, Zambia would not have been talking about a Presidential by election in 90 days and general elections after 18 months because the running mate clause would automatically have taken over,” she said.
The briefing was attended by several civil society organisations (CSO), Opposition political party leaders in United Party for National Development (UPND)’s Hakainde Hichilema, and Mike Mulongoti of the People’s Party, Edith Nawakwi from Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD),and Edwin Sakala of Zambia Direct Democracy Movement (ZDDM).
Times of Zambia