The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has warned Zambians against adopting the final draft constitution in its current form into law.
YALI is urging people in the country not to do so neither through Parliament nor through a national constitution referendum.
YALI governance advisor Isaac Mwanza has told Qfm News that this is because enacting the Constitution Amendment Bill in its current form may result in shielding top government officials from being investigated on corruption allegations.
Mr. Mwanza states that his organization has taken note that draft constitution where the Bill was plucked has declassified the President, Vice President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Member of Parliament, Minister, Provincial Minister, provincial speaker, Parliamentary Secretary, provincial deputy speaker and member of a provincial assembly from being held as public officers.
He says this is however against the spirit of Zambia’s anti-corruption law on whose strength the ACC has been able to investigate public officers who engage in corrupt activities.
Mr. Mwanza says re-defining and classification of persons holding the said public offices as state officers will provide a comfort zone to escape from investigations on corruption allegations and thereby reducing the ACC to investigating only junior public officers.
He notes that this is why YALI is warning those championing for adoption of the draft constitution in its current form and establishing the law that would preclude members of Parliament from scrutinizing the content and making necessary changes to be wary of the type of Constitution they want to create.
Mr. Mwanza says his organization is therefore encouraging government to table the Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament and allow Members of Parliament and members of the public to clean up these gray areas that provide comfort zone for high profile corruption to flourish.