The Grand Coalition has expressed concern that the presidential candidate for the PF, Hon Edgar Lungu has refused to sign the social contract and ignored with impunity the demands for him to commit his government in writing to the delivery of the constitution if he wins. The Grand Coalition feels the Roadmap may be discarded or changed altogether should Hon. Lungu win the presidency, going by his refusal to commit himself in writing through the signing of the Social Contract. The Grand coalition said the people of Zambia are tired of the current defective constitution and we need to deliver unto ourselves a new constitution.
Meanwhile Civil Society Constitution Coalition Chairperson Judith Mulenga has charged that the release of the government roadmap for the constitution making process is an election gimmick to make people believe they are committed to enacting a new constitution.Ms. Mulenga said that if the PF government is committed enough to the enactment of a new constitution, the PF Presidential candidate should not be reluctant to sign the social contract with the Grand Coalition.
Below is the Press statement
Grand Coalition Response to the Government Roadmap
Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may be aware, on Tuesday 13 January 2015 the Ministry of Justice shared with us the Draft Proposed Constitution Roadmap and Guidelines for Public Validation of the Contents of the Final Draft Constitution, which was presented to Parliament on 23 October 2014.
From the onset, we have emphasized our demand for the Government to release a clear Roadmap and also guidelines for the validation of the Draft Constitution in a manner that would protect the content. We got very concerned when the Government released the document to parliament without a roadmap, and got even more concerned when we learnt through media reports that the Roadmap had been lost.
We therefore welcome the Government for finally yielding to our demand to release a roadmap and also to share clear guidelines of how the Draft Constitution making process will be finalised. We have noted that the proposed roadmap is in line with our demand of a referendum before the 2016 general elections.
While we commend the Government for finally releasing the Roadmap and Guidelines for the Validation of the new Constitution with timelines that are in line with our demands, we are concerned that the presidential candidate for the PF, Hon Edgar Lungu has refused to sign the social contract and ignored with impunity the demands for him to commit his government if he wins, in writing to the delivery of the constitution.
It is therefore, interesting to note that government’s Roadmap may be discarded or changed altogether should Hon. Lungu win the presidency, going by his refusal to commit himself in writing through the signing of the Social Contract.
It is for reason that Grand Coalition feels this may not be in good faith, particularly that the PF government, through their candidate, who is also Minister of Justice, have refused to demonstrate their commitment to deliver a people driven constitution by signing the Social Contract. This could be part of tactics aimed at helping the ruling party candidate.
Our concern comes due to the fact that the ruling party has refused to commit by signing the social contract which is in line with their proposed roadmap. In this vein we demand that Hon. Lungu does sign the social contract to prove that he buys in the government released roadmap failure to which we conclude that the road map is not owned by the Lungu team but government through the Acting President, Dr. Guy Scott, who has already declared that Zambia needs a new constitution.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In conclusion, allow me to emphasise that the finalisation of a people driven constitution is already long overdue. As the Grand Coalition, we remain committed and resolved to ensure that this process yields a people driven constitution. The people of Zambia are tired of the current defective constitution and we need to deliver unto ourselves a new constitution.
We demand the urgent finalisation of the Constitution making process. No New Constitution, No Vote.
God bless our lovely country Zambia.
Sara H. Longwe
Grand Coalition Vice Chairperson.