CSCC says Will not Submit to Parliamentary Committee on Illegitimate Constitutional Amendment Bill

The Civil Society Constitution Coalition (CSSC) rejects the invitation to appear and make submissions before the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs on the Constitutional Amendment Bill that was presented to Parliament by the Justice Minister last Friday.
CSCC and the larger Grand Coalition, remains opposed to the Parliamentary route of adopting the Constitution and we made our sentiments known to the past and present Ministers of Justice including the Head of State when he was the Minister of Justice during numerous meetings and platforms that the Constitution should not be adopted through Parliament but our submissions have fallen on deaf ears.
We want to echo the sentiments by distinguished constitutional legal minds that the adoption of the Constitution is not the preserve of Parliament which is itself a product of the Constitution and therefore this route that the PF government is taking is an illegitimate route and the resultant Constitution will not be legitimate as it would not have the loyalty, respect, confidence and agreement of the Zambian people.
Furthermore, the same legal minds have stated that the Constitution Amendment Bill that was presented to Parliament with numerous new provisions would not pass the ‘amendment rule’ which is very specific and targeted at a specific provision or provisions requiring either deletion or addition of text.
Besides we all know that the PF has consistently used its arrogance of numbers in Parliament to pass Bills that do not serve the interest of the people such as the raised threshold of government borrowing on behalf of the Zambian people.
The PF leadership has already decided on the outcome of the Bill and the invitation to make submissions to the Legal Committee serves only to legitimize the process as no contrary submission will be considered as had happened on the Referendum Amendment Bill.
Therefore, CSCC would like to urge all well-meaning genuinely patriotic Members of Parliament not to debate this Constitutional Bill but to send it back to the people who have the mandate to give unto themselves a new constitution.
We urge other stakeholders that have been invited to appear before the Legal Committee to refuse to do so as this would unwittingly legitimize an illegitimate process.
The people of Zambia should also reject the outcome of this process as it does not embody their aspirations.
CSCC supports the principles set out in the Technical Committee’s terms of reference, supreme of which was for the Zambian people to give unto ourselves a new people driven constitution through a referendum.
Issued by:
Judith M. A. Mulenga
CSCC Chairperson

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