13 April 2014

Zambia: Consensus On Constitution Way Forward - Scott

VICE-President Guy Scott has urged Zambians to avoid animosity on pertinent matters of national development especially the Constitution-making process to enable the country move forward. Dr Scott said the current animosity and lack of consensus from various stakeholders on the Constitution-making process was not healthy for the country.

He said the Constitution making process was currently being used by some opposition political parties to discredit the Government. Dr Scott was speaking in Livingstone at Zambezi Sun Hotel on Saturday night when he officiated at the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) Annual General Meeting Gala Dinner.

"If we are going to use the Constitution-making process to gain political mileage by engaging in careless talk, we might as well forget about the whole process and save money. "If there is no consensus, you may have people who don't want to vote for a referendum on time and those are my fears and our fears as Government," he said.

He urged LAZ to lead all stakeholders including the Government in consensus building on the Constitution because the Association was neutral as well as highly respected and professional.

"LAZ has credibility to call Zambians to come together and take an amicable basis on the Constitution making process. If we don't build consensus, some of us may be reluctant to be part of the process," he said.

Speaking at the same function, outgoing LAZ president, James Banda urged the Government to create room for dialogue and make the governance of Zambia a reality.

"As LAZ, we need to constantly talk to Government officials to effectively achieve what is good for the country. Our particular concerns are legal and judicial reforms which affect our professional body and the people we represent," he said.

He urged the incoming LAZ leadership and members of the legal fraternity to jealously guard the unity the association was enjoying and maintain high standards of integrity.

Newly-elected LAZ president, George Chisanga paid tribute to Mr Banda for leading the Association well during the last two years.

"Mr Banda leaves an indelible mark on the presidency of LAZ. We take the confidence bestowed in us with humility and we promise to start working immediately," he said.

Linda Chishimba was elected as LAZ vice president, while Likando Kalaluka was elected as honorary secretary and Clement Tefeni was elected as honorary treasurer.

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