Referendum on constitution is non-negotiable – TIZ

Zambia draft Constitution
Transparency International Zambia has become the latest organisation to back the decision taken by the Technical Committee drafting the constitution not to sign the final report following the directive by the ministry of Justice for them to print only ten copies of the final draft constitution against its terms of reference.

TIZ Executive Director Goodwell Lungu in a statement issued to QFM News today has since demanded that the ministry of justice withdraws the directive for the printing of ten copies of the final draft constitution to allow many copies to be printed so that people can have copies.

He explains that printing ten copies of the final draft constitution implies that each province will receive one copy which he says is a mockery, adding that the directive is extremely unnecessary and uncalled for.

Mr Lungu says TIZ believes time should not be wasted debating the disclosure of or dissemination of the draft constitution but on how the process of constitution making will be concluded especially on the issue of holding a referendum.

He adds that TIZ strongly demands that a supplementary budget be worked out and included in the 2014 budget to provide a platform for Zambians to have a final say in the constitution making through a referendum without fail.

Mr Lungu has further appealed to all well-meaning Zambians and government to start mobilising themselves for the referendum, which is non-negotiable, to be held before or by 2014.

He adds that the Technical Committee by refusing to sign the final report are merely acting and responding to the guiding principles that demand that they are supposed to be accountable to the people of Zambia.

He states that one of the Terms of Reference for the technical committee emphasizes on the need to build confidence in the constitutional making process which the 10 copies approach intends to disrupt.