Monday, August 09, 2010
By Fridah Zinyama
Sun 08 Aug. 2010, 04:00 CAT
THE Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has said the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) draft constitution should be rejected without reservation due to the flawed process.
In a press statement, CCZ yesterday stated that the will of Zambians as reflected in their submissions to the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission had been disregarded with impunity by those charged with the responsibility to defend the aspirations of the citizens.
“We feel that the NCC draft constitution leaves much to be desired,” the Council stated, adding that a constitution is a birth certificate of a nation and therefore the basis of its legal authority for national development and prosperity which had not been properly addressed in the draft constitution. CCZ recommended that the proposed piecemeal amendments to the current Constitution that seek to ensure the continued stay in power for the current government be rejected.
The council added that in the likely event that the government and politicians used their arrogance of numbers to push through this flawed constitution, the least they could do is refer the whole NCC draft Constitution to the Referendum for the people to decide. The members of CCZ held consultative meetings from July 27 to 30, 2010 in Lusaka to review the NCC draft constitution.
The scope of the review also provided members an opportunity to reflect on their previous submissions on the national constitution- making process. CCZ had earlier decided not to sit in the NCC but rather to participate in the process from outside.
CCZ’s decision not to participate in the NCC stemmed from the fact that the government was not willing to negotiate issues that the Council found contentious, like the skewed composition of the NCC towards the government and politicians, the lack of clarity on the road map especially on matters related to the adoption process of the final draft constitution, the lack of clarity as to whether the NCC would lead to the establishment of a new constitution as opposed to piecemeal amendments, among other issues.
CCZ was of the view that this reduced the prospects for the people to chart their own destiny.