Zambia Reports (Lusaka)

Zambia: Plan for Demos On Constitution Gain Momentum

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have threatened to hold mass demonstrations to press for Government to release the final draft Constitution by tomorrow.

Speaking on behalf of the CSOs Judith Mulenga said stakeholders who included the church, student movement, human rights activists and the general citizenry accused the Patriotic Front (PF) government of being averse to values of transparency, participation and openness going by the manner it had handled the Constitution.

"We are disappointed and frustrated by the turn of events where the technical committee has been compelled and harassed into submitting the final draft of the Constitution to President Michael Sata alone, a clear deviation from the Terms of Reference that were developed by the State itself, we are going to mobilise stakeholders and gather at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross," she said.

Ms Mulenga at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday appealed to President Sata to release the final Constitution.

They also demanded that a legal framework, clear road map and the matter of referendum be clearly stated and communicated to the Zambian people immediately.

The CSOs reminded Mr Sata to fulfill the promises he made to the people of Zambia to deliver a people driven Constitution within 90 days.

"Please President Sata give us a new Constitution as our deserved 50 anniversary gift saying anything contrary to this regarding the constitution would be an act of treachery, dishonest, insincerity and betrayal of the worst kind," said Ms Mulenga.

Those that attended the meeting included, Non Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC), Action Aid, Foundation for Democratic Process, (FODEP), Oasis Forum, (SACCORD), Students activists, MMD and UPND officials.

Others were Operation Young Votes and Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali), People's Party President Mike Mulongoti and political activist Dante Saunders.

THE Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambian Constitution was on Monday expected to hand over the final draft Constitution to President Sata.

Addressing a press conference, Committee spokesperson Ernest Mwansa admitted that the Technical Committee had failed to simultaneously hand over the document to both members of the public and the President.

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