Constitution making under threat – Oasis Forum

The Oasis Forum says it is saddened with a U-turn by a Technical Committee of Experts drafting Zambia’s new constitution that it will only hand the final document to President Michael Sata.

The Committee had earlier promised the country that it will handover the final document to the Head of State and the General Public at the same time for scrutiny and final input. But this week Committee Spokesperson Ernest Mwansa announced that due to time limitation the document will only be availed to the President.

Oasis Forum a consortium of Civil Society Organizations says the decision is unfortunate and has called on the Committee to rescind its decision.

“First and foremost, it is saddening to note that the Committee has failed to avail the people of Zambia with the final opportunity to validate their input in the process,” Oasis Forum reacted in a statement. ”The shortcoming in time could have been a foreseen had the process been premised on a clearly laid down roadmap.”

The Forum fears that what has happened before where the document is submitted to the executive who in-turn water down the document by leaving out pertinent issues the people would want reflected in the constitution.

“Second and perhaps more threatening, reminiscent of past tendencies, it would be a serious error for the document to be handed only to the Republican President,” The Forum states. ”It is only just and fair that this document lands in the hands of the Public who are the rightful custodians, the Republican President and Parliament at the same time!”