Politicians must not lead the constitution making process – Sikazwe

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Some Non – Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have maintained their stance to boycott the National Constitution Conference (NCC) citing among other reasons their mistrust of Parliament in enacting the constitution.

The Non Governmental Organisation Coordinating Conference (NGOCC)   Representative Emily Sikazwe stated that past experience has shown that Parliament   has jurisdiction to alter what people have proposed.

Speaking on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) National Watch
programme monitored by ZANIS, Ms. Sikazwe stressed that through various laws that
Members of  Parliament (MPP) have enacted against the will of the people have
indicated of  what the MPs are capable of doing.

She stressed that the women movement would only participate if government aggress to take on board the social economical rights as reflected in the  Mun’gomba Constitution  Review Commission (CRC).

Ms. Sikazwe stated  by government refusing to consider the economic social aspects,
it was  neglecting  the core values of the poor children and women whose
organisation  represents.

Transparency International Zambia (ITZ) President Reuben Lifuka stated that  NGOs
were not comfortable  with the composition of the NCC , which he said  was dominated
by Political parties.

He also expressed surprise that government has now agreed to piece meal amendments
of the constitution which it had refused to undertake before the 2006 tripartite
elections.

But Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ) Rev. David Masupa appealed to the  civil
society not to pull out saying they are safe guards measures which have  been put in
place to ensure that  the process is conducted professionally.

Finance and National planning minister ruled out fears that government would not
take on board the social economic aspect.

He  pointed out that  part six of the draft constitution deals with bill of  rights
which would be among components to be discussed by the NCC.

He however said it would not be right for people not to have confidence in
parliament because the house was mandated to enact laws.

Lusaka Laywer Chifumu Banda said all participates will be given chance to discuss
the whole report and the Mun’gomba Draft Constitution.

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