Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New good constitution a must - Lungu
By Masuzyo Chakwe
Tue 11 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

ZAMBIA Episcopal Conference secretary general Father Cleophas Lungu says a good constitution will see medicine in hospitals and food on the tables of Zambians.

Civil society organisations promoting good governance in Zambia are gathered in Chisamba to analyse the constitution-making process and what stage it has reached.

The organisations are also planning a series of advocacy actions to undertake in the event that the country goes to a referendum after June 30 when the technical committee releases the draft constitution.

Giving a keynote address, Fr Lungu said he was of the firm belief that those gathered at Protea Hotel were champions of good governance in Zambia and meant well for the country.

He said after 17 wasted years, Zambia could not afford to see wastage of resources in constitutional reforms.

"We see the constitution as a prerequisite for development," he said.
FrLungu said a good constitution would see medicine in hospitals and food on people's tables adding that a new constitution must be done in a good and right way.

He said a new good constitution for Zambia was a must.

Fr Lungu said the civil society organisations had agreedto come up with a consolidated basic minimum for what the Zambian constitutions should have which would then be used to judge if the document from the technical committee met the basic standard of a good constitution.

He said the CSOs were also gathered to plan for what action to take if theconstitution was not produced on time.

Fr Lungu gave an example of the private member's bill to compel the government prepare for a referendum and prepare a budget for the adoption of the new constitution.

"We need to remain vigilant and we need to remain alert. Past experience has shown that we cannot entrust the whole process in the hands of the politician. Remember'All it takes for bad things to happen is for good people to remain silent'" he said.

"All of us in this room are good people and we mean well for this country. I truly believe that 'Every human being must always aspire to inspire before one expires'."

CSOs meeting include Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the Oasis Forum, MISA, Panos, SACCORD, ZaCoMeF, WFC, WILSA and several youth organisations.

The meeting which started yesterday ends today.

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