The opposition Patriotic Front PF has described the release of the Draft Constitution to the public by the National Constitution Conference NCC as a mockery.
The NCC on Tuesday released to the public the Initial Report of the Conference,the Draft Constitution, and the Summary of the Resolutions of the Conference, giving the public 40 days in which to make their observations and contributions towards the draft constitution.
But PF Spokesperson Given Lubinda observed that the rush to release the draft document to the public has not been done in good faith but merely to justify the huge expenditures National Constitutional Conference has incurred during its deliberations.
Mr. Lubinda told QFM in an interview that the NCC has spent colossal amounts of money deliberating over recommendations of the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission.
He also stated that it is clear that the whole process of the NCC has been marred with a lot of inconsistencies that has led to the failure by the delegates to come up with a people driven legal document.
He added that Zambians expected so much from the NCC that the huge resources invested in the process have not yielded anything to meet the expectations of the people after making progressive recommendations to the Mung’omba CRC.
And Forum for Progressive Politics (FPP) have welcomed the newly launched draft constitution. FPP Secretary General Charles Kafumbo said the forum was happy with the 40 days given to the public to make submissions which would be considered in the final document.
He said the period given was long enough for people to read and understand the document but expressed worry that very few were likely to submit because they had no access to the document especially in rural areas.
He said the decision by Government to allow the District Commissioners’ offices to avail the draft constitution to the public would disadvantage the rural community who could not manage to travel to a district to access the document. Mr. Kafumbo noted that Government should have taken the document to all constituency offices, if the rural community was to fully articipate in the exercise adding that the process would not yield desired results failure to avail it to people at the grassroot level.
He observed that the National Constitution Conference (NCC) process has cost the country huge sums of money which he said could only be beneficial if all citizens added their voice to the document. He stated that at the stage the document had reached it was irreversible as huge public resources had already been spent saying Government should be prepared to spend even more to let every Zambian access the document.
He said Government should consider printing more copies and also translating it into local languages to enable more people
to read it. In another development, Mr. Kafumbo said the voter registration was faced with low turn out because of lack of information on the exercise to the community.
He said people in the community did not know where to find the centers adding that Electoral Commission of Zambia should do more publicity in the community. He said the people in the community could not afford to buy a newspaper in order for them to ascertain the centres saying advertising in the papers would only reach selective individuals.
He advised ECZ to use the vehicles they have been given to sensitise people in the community as the only way to improve voter registration turn out. But when contacted for a comment, ECZ Public Relations Manager Cris Akufuna said the commission is doing everything possible to publicise the exercise around the country.
Due to many requests, LT has created a link for people to download the full Draft Constitution Document as it is not clear on where to download it from the NCC website
Use the link below to download the 301 page Draft Constititution report