GOVERNMENT has said it is premature for people to call for the establishment of a Referendum Committee when debates on the Draft Constitution are still on-going.
Chief Government Spokesperson, Kennedy Sakeni has called for patience from some sections of society calling for the establishment of the committee emphasising that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) has not lost focus on delivering a Constitution that would stand the test of time.
In an interview in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Sakeni said citizens should be given adequate time to study the Constitution and allow them to make contributions to the process so that the final document was all inclusive and be able to stand the test of time.
The Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambia Constitution last week started the distribution of the translated draft Constitution in local languages to various provinces for people to have an opportunity to go through.
"Some people in rural areas have just started receiving the translated draft Constitution, and the document is still being distributed. We have to give them chance to read through the document and also make proposals," Mr Sakeni, who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister, said.
"We want everyone to participate in the process and not just a particular section of society. This is the only way the Constitution would be all inclusive and not just have comments from some clique of society," he added.
He said after the debates were exhausted, people would make a decision on the route to take in coming up with the final document as Government would not dictate the process.
The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) on Wednesday urged the Government to urgently come up with a firm roadmap regarding the holding of the referendum as the country's Constitution-making process advanced.
In the latest pastoral letter, CCZ Secretary-General, Susanne Matale, on behalf of the heads of churches under CCZ, said the Church was hopeful the process would be quickly concluded through the holding of a referendum.
She reaffirmed the Church's support for most of the submissions contained in the Mung'omba Draft Constitution Report as a true reflection of what the people wanted to be enshrined in the Republican Constitution.
She said CCZ had hinted during the failed National Constitutional Conference (NCC) and its related processes that unless the process was clearly guaranteed, all Constitution-making efforts were bound to be fruitless.
But Mr Sakeni said the Referendum Committee would be constituted at an appropriate time when all public contributions had been taken on board.