Government has ruled out discontinuing the ongoing consultations on whether Zambia should leave or maintain its membership to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Justice Minister Given Lubinda says the consultations will go on despite advice from the Civil Society Constitution Agenda to discontinue the process in view of President Edgar Lungu’s position on the matter, and the general view of the people of Zambia that Zambia maintains its ICC membership.
Mr. Lubinda is shocked and saddened that some civil society organizations want to curtail the process of citizens being involved in the governance process of their Country.
He has wondered how the civil society organizations could have known that people want Zambia to remain a member of the ICC without consulting them first.
In an interview, Mr. Lubinda told QTV News that government does not in fact think it would make sense to discontinue the consultations when it’s half way in the process of getting people’s views.
He said he is personally happy that the majority of Zambians want to take part in the governance process and have since seized the opportunity to be heard by making submissions.
Mr Lubinda stated that government has in this case also been vindicated that it has no pre-determined position on whether Zambia should leave or maintain its membership to the ICC.
Meanwhile Mr.Lubinda has said there was no active case involving Zambia at the International Criminal Court(ICC).He said that the ICC confirmed this when his office inquired, just before the commencement of consultations on whether Zambia should remain a member of the court.
Mr Lubinda said unlike in other countries whether presidents and government made the decision on their own, President Edgar Lungu has chosen to give Zambians the chance to make the decision.
He explained that this was because the ICC matter borders of security and can help keep politicians in check.Mr.Lubinda emphasized that it would not have been prudent for President Lungu to make a decision on his own on matter that concerns all Zambians, as the ICC mainly deals with serious cases against humanity.