Caritas Zambia has learned from the Technical Committee on Drafting the Constitution and the media with great shock and dismay that the Committee on Drafting the Constitution is being asked by the Executive to print only ten (10) copies of the Draft Constitution.
This is in absolute defiance both of the Terms of Reference that required the Committee to make full public disclosure of the outcomes of the constitution making process and of popular demand and expectation to have copies of the draft Constitution released simultaneously to the public as well as the Executive.
We thus support the position taken by the Technical Committee to refuse to sign the Draft Constitution and the Report if the Executive maintains this unreasonable position.
This is a display of integrity on the part of the Committee and their accountability to the people of Zambia to whom they continuously made the promise that they would simultaneously release the Draft Constitution to the Executive and the general public. As Caritas Zambia, we pledge to stand with them on this position and we urge the Committee not to relent.
The position taken by the Executive to deny Zambians first hand access to the draft Constitution is not acceptable and is provocative in a country which has invested so much and waited so long for a credible people driven constitution.
What has the Executive got to hide over the draft Constitution? What do they secretly want to do with it behind the knowledge of the Zambians?
All along, civil society and other stakeholders have demanded for a legal framework to protect the Constitution making process. The Executive consistently refused to yield to this demand.
It is now clear why that legal framework was critically required. Caritas Zambia would like to state that the people of Zambia will not allow the constitution process in which so much time, money and energy has been sacrificially committed to be manipulated. Parochial interest has no place in our constitutional making process at this stage. God forbid.
Executive Director Caritas Zambia Cc. Technical Committee