Acting President Edgar Lungu says Parliament will determine the roadmap of the constitution-making process because it is the only arm of Government that is mandated to make and change laws.
“Law-making is the preserve of Parliament. The executive and even the judiciary, can’t dare touch that process,” Mr Lungu said.
Mr Lungu’s comments come in the wake of some stakeholders demanding a clear roadmap after Government released the draft constitution last week.
Mr Lungu, who is Minister of Justice and Minister of Defence as well as Patriotic Front secretary general, said: “We want a people-driven constitution and so people must now study the document thoroughly and let it speak to them.”
He hopes that Parliament will not abdicate its primary function of making laws by not giving the country direction on the constitution-making process.
“Parliament must not allow anyone to trespass on their function to delete and make laws. This is the separation of powers we talk about,” Mr Lungu said.
“It is Parliament to decide whether we should have a referendum or not. Parliament must provide leadership,” he said.
Mr Lungu said he is alive to the fact that laws come from Parliament but legislators must not forget the feelings and aspirations of the people who voted for them.
“Now that the document is out, MPs must speak to their people in the constituencies they come from. No-one must be intimated and Parliament must lead the way,” he said
Mr Lungu said the executive has done its part and it now remains with the Parliament to lead the way.
“If Parliament says we go the referendum way, we will follow but we must be cognisant of people’s suffering as we make such decisions,” he said.