The Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) says Information and Broadcasting Services Minster Chishimba Kambwili is trivializing the constitution making process by stating that the Constitution Making debate is centred around the line of rail is not an issue in the other rural parts of the country.
ZCSD Executive Director Lewis Mwape in a statement says Mr Kambwili’s statement amounts to government’s lack of commitment to enact a people driven constitution.
Mr Mwape says the government has the responsibility to lead the constitution making process in wide consultation with the citizens.
He states that this being the reality, it is the responsibility of government to ensure that the constitution making debate is taken to all the parts of the country and that the government must get concerned if the constitution making process is not nationally embraced.
Mr Mwape says Government should take up its responsibility in the constitution making process and ensure that there is adequate citizen participation in the process and as such, a senior minister should not take pride in the ignorance of citizens on the constitution making process.
The ZCSD Executive Director adds that the statement by Mr Kamwili goes to show that the government is not committed to ensuring that there is adequate information sharing and transparency in the constitution making process.
He notes that if there was adequate information and transparency sharing in this process, the constitution making debate would not have been centred along the line of rail as alleged by the minister.
Mr Mwape says his organisation feels that Mr Kambwili should realize that it is government’s responsibility to ensure that it carries out adequate sensitization programmes to ensure that there is full participation of citizens in this important and historical process.
He states that the government needs to conduct civic education on the constitution-making process so that the people are able to make free choices on what kind of a constitution they want and what mode of adoption is preferable this time following many failed attempts in the past to enact constitutions through parliament.
Mr Mwape has since appealed to senior government officials to be more responsible and be aware that they are carrying the mandate of citizens who have put them in power and power belongs to the people who deserve to be honoured with a good constitution.