Editor's Comment

Draft Constitution welcome

NGOSA Simbyakula

FOR some while, some doubting Thomases have been demanding that Government releases the draft constitution.  They doubted Government assurances that this would be done.
Government has been advising that the draft constitution would be released and this has eventually come to pass with the release of the document to the public on Thursday.
This is as Acting President Edgar Lungu had assured.  In closed-door meetings with various stakeholders, he promised that the draft constitution would be released during the period of jubilee celebrations.
Even with these assurances, there were some who still doubted.  There is no further need to doubt because the draft constitution is now in public domain.  This is a splendid jubilee present for Zambians.
Strangely, there are still some armchair critics and perennial prophets of doom who refuse to acknowledge this good development.
What is expected of the nation now is for all stakeholders to digest what the draft constitution contains.  As Acting Minister of Justice Dr Ngosa Simyakula told Parliament on Thursday, let the debate begin on issues.
Some stakeholders had been arguing that Government wants to doctor some sections of the draft constitution.  This has been proved wrong, underscoring the assurance that Governments is intent on a people-driven constitution.
Everyone has the right to make submissions on the constitution but there is no harm in re-emphasising that key considerations should be the welfare of Zambians.
We are aware some members of the public have been calling for a road map and the technical guidelines on the constitution-making process, but they should heed Dr Simbyakula’s advice to the effect that Government wants to leave this process to the people to decide.
Again this is evidence that the constitution-making process will be people-driven, as promised by Government.
Government wants the people to study the document and make further recommendations, if any, on how they want the constitution-making process to proceed.
The Ministry of Justice will receive all submissions that will be made and the time-frame in which all this is done will be decided by the people themselves.
That way, when it finally becomes law, it will truly be a people’s Constitution and one that will stand the test of time.
We, therefore, look forward towards progressive debates and arguments for the good of Zambia and all its citizens regardless of their status.

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