THE Technical Committee drafting the new Republican Constitution has urged Zambians not to simply praise or condemn the first draft document now in the public domain but should read, debate and offer concrete comments on it.
Technical Committee spokesperson Simon Kabanda said people should engage in informal debates on the Draft Constitution and not showering praises or condemnations before reading the document.
“They are therefore expected to read, debate, and make comments on it.
We expect informal debates to be going on,” he said in response to a Press query yesterday.
Mr Kabanda said the committee expected stakeholders such as traditional leaders, church groups, Non-Governmental Organisations, community-based organisations, trade unions, professional associations, area development committees and others to read and debate contents of the document and make comments.
He said the secretariat and the National Assembly Constituency offices had comments’ boxes where individuals, associations and organisations could submit comments on the document.
Mr Kabanda said 300,000 hard copies of the first Draft Constitution had appeared as an insert every Wednesday in the daily newspapers of Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and The Post for a period of three weeks from May 3, 2012.
“A total of 400,000 will appear as inserts in the three daily papers by Wednesday May, 24 2012. We have also distributed 100,000 copies countrywide, to all the 150 constituencies,” he said.
Another 65,000 copies were being given to other stakeholders to distribute and 300 copies of the Braille version were transcribed for access by the visually impaired.
Mr Kabanda said work to produce a simplified version of the first Draft Constitution had begun.
He said the simplified version would then be translated into seven major local languages that included Lozi, Bemba, Tonga, Lunda, Luvale, Kaonde, and Nyanja.
Mr Kabanda said the technical committee had also produced an audio version of the first Draft Constitution.
[Times of Zambia]