Failure of the Zambian Constitution making process is due to lack of Experts Involvement-Ndulo

Prof Muna Ndulo
Prof Muna Ndulo

A Constitutional Law Expert Prof. Muna Ndulo cites the lack of expert involvement and adoption of a good process as the main drive to the failure of the Zambian Constitution-making process.

Experts play an important role in the formulating process of a constitution as they are fully equipped with knowledge and understanding of how clauses link up in the constituency for this not just a piece of legislation, but a framework document which must have a sequence on various aspects. Prof. Ndulo highlighted this when he made an appearance on HOT FMs Red Hot Breakfast Show.

Prof. Ndulo noted that the inability to realise that there’s actually a role to engage experts who understand and put the nation before anything else in the constitution-making process is one of the major things that has led to the failed Zambia process of putting in place an agreeable and durable constitution.

He added that one of the key things that should happen is to agree on a process with expert involvement that can produce a good constitution that looks at all the viable elements that need to be put in place.

He said that looking at countries such as South Africa and Kenya, what people missed was the critical role that acknowledged constitutional experts played in South Africa and Kenya, in Kenya for example there was a committee of nine experts compromising of both local and international experts who developed a draft constituency taking into account all the views from all stakeholders and once the draft was finalised it was given to the public for comment.

“In the Kenyan process, a draft constitution was prepared by the experts and given to the public for assessment with a given time frame so that it doesn’t go on forever and South African laid down a good process which had a role for experts through an expert committee,” he said

Prof. Ndulo noted that another major problem in the constitution-making process is the process itself, which is as important as the content for one cannot have a good constituency without a good process.

He explained that the idea of setting up commissions and adopting a commission-based process is only good for gathering information, which is why in Zambia today we have an abundance of information in terms of the peoples’ views about the constituency making process which has posed a challenge on how to use the information in order to move forward.

“It doesn’t matter what content you have but if the process is wrong you are going to have disagreements,” he said

Prof. Ndulo further explained the need to conduct a comparative study by looking at successful processes from other countries such as Kenya and try to learn from them as there is nothing wrong about learning from other countries or other processes because this is how you learn and build knowledge.

“Nobody has answers to everything, we all learn from each other,” he said

He emphasised that in the past the major flow has been the process where the avenue has been using the Enquires Act which was not designed to produce a constitution but rather designed to do enquiries, which is colonial piece of legislation which was used as a means for enquiring.

“For example, if they are disturbances or problems let’s say in mining, you come up with facts where the government takes into account recommendations and decides based on that,” he said

Prof Ndulo added that the Enquiries Act is not a framework for developing a constituency because there hasn’t been any single country that has developed a constitution using this Act because all the countries that have tried using this Act have had the same problem that Zambia has.

He stated that the Constitution making process is not the responsibility of the government alone but for everybody such as the press, political parties and all stakeholders that can help to create an understanding that the constitutional making process is a national matter not a political party issue.

Prof. Ndulo mentioned that political parties must begin to understand that the constitution making process is a national project which needs a framework and not some piece of policy legislation which can be argued about.

“Putting in place a proper framework can enable the Zambian constitution to be done in a year,” he stated


    • I think the don wanted to say “Failure of the Zambian Constitution making process is due to lack of my involvement-Ndulo. We have always had experts of various fields whenever we have reviewed our constitution

  1. Lungu was happy with a dubious constitution…………..

    The lazio lungu was content with a constitution that could be interpreted in different ways to suit him………….

    How can a president who is a supposed lawyer oversee a constitution full different interpretations ………??

    He was a crooked lawyer, that lungu, more intrested in protecting criminals……..

    • The Constitution has always been manipulated long before Edgar Lungu came into public office. I normally don’t like this professor but what he’s saying here is the truth and only those with evil agenda will not pay attention.

  2. First and foremost, the Constitution must be in tandem with the basic and fundamental human rights. It does not need to be verbose. It must start simply with thefact that ALL men are created equal. Then it must proceed to prevent the tyrrany of the government over the people and the tyrrany of the majority over the minority as well as the tyrrany of the powerful over the weak. Once this foundation is laid, we will be well on the way to giving ourselves a good constitution.

  3. A Country’s Constitution should reflect the aspirations of its people, not those of experts. Experts should help the people achieve a viable Constitution. Expert should NOT be the ones deciding what should be in the Constitution. A few “Experts” can easily be bought by those who seek to manipulate a nation.

    So with due respect, I disagree.

  4. If there were any experts on the South African constitution they were a jaundiced lot. The constitution may be seen to be fair when perceived through the eyes of the privileged wealthy whites. It was framed to protect their interests and the rights surrounding these interests. The constitution ensured no black man would jump over the fence to grab the 20000 hectare ranch owned by boers. Then followed homosexual rights and abortion which were stated without consulting the majority race’s experts on traditions and culture. It was a matter of copying everything from Europe and imposing it on hapless blacks. Now blacks are revolting because the status quo has changed only the political leadership. The capitalist system continues to exploit the black man

  5. The constitution should relate to everyone in the land. We just want a constitution we can understand. We don’t want one couched in legal verbose

  6. How can he be looking for a job when he has made his money already in the US. Some chaps expose their shallow minds. It is clear to them the prof is not at their level. Do not think always at your level and just expose your ignorance. Shame on you.

  7. Ba Monze @No. 9 take note on the meaning of a professorial title. In developed countries Professors vehemently stick to their professional ethics. However in Africa – particularly Zambia – a Professorial title is a social badge to intimidate ordinary people, like Monze. Most Zambian Professors have NEVER published a single word nor a “comma”. Many constitutional-making processes have occurred before Munda Ndulo migrated to the USA. What expertise did Ndulo offer to Zambia? NEAL. A Professor of Economics/Civics currently serving as a Presidential advisor has NEVER produced a PhD student at Unza. Hence SHUT-UP Ba Monze.

  8. Prof,
    What experts are you talking about? Constitutional review in the past has been inclusive involving both the legal minds, minds from other professionals, church motherboards and ordinary citizens. So what experts are you talking about?

  9. Previous constitution before some changes were made was subject to wide consultation.We saw the government allow wide participation (at every level) by collecting suggestions and views from people from every corner of the country.The issue of the constitution is not a new thing.

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