LAZ demands release of constitution, but govt wants to first catch whoever ‘leaked’ the document

The Law Association of Zambia has demanded the release of the draft constitution by whoever is holding on to the document.

But Chief Government Spokesperson and Information Minister Mwansa Kapeya yesterday hinted that government will only do so after concluding investigations on who ‘leaked’ the final document to the public.

LAZ president James Banda whose association is one of the conveners of the Oasis Forum has told Qfm in an interview that they have been able to confirm that the technical committee has finished its work hence government should release the document.

Mr. Banda states that it will be irresponsible for the constitution making process to fail at this stage considering the time and resources invested in the process.

He says responsible people should behave in a responsible manner, stating whoever is holding on to the document should release it instead of having scenarios where the document has to be leaked through the media.

Mr. Banda adds that government should release the draft constitution and state clearly what the next step is in the constitution making process. 

He states that the next stage of the constitution making process should not be a mystery as government had promised to inform the Zambian people of next step once the technical committed had completed its work.

The LAZ president adds that as the draft constitution is being released, the referendum commission should be put in place stating that the Electoral Commission of Zambia can be converted into referendum commission so that they start preparing for the referendum.

Mr. Banda is optimistic that the country will have a new constitution as long as Zambians do not relent in demanding for their constitution.

But Chief Government Spokesperson, Mwansa Kapeya yesterday said investigations into the leaked final draft constitution circulated on the internet last month were still ongoing.

Mr. Kapeya could not however say how long the investigations will take to be concluded.

He said government will avail the public with the findings of the investigations once they have been concluded.

Asked what is government’s position on the constitution making process which seems to have stalled, Mr. Kapeya has told Qfm News in a telephone interview that government is first dealing with the issue of the investigation into the leaked document.

The new position by government now really confirms they were indeed the ones that released and shared the document to the Zambianwatchdog with a view to use it as an excuse by claiming it was leaked when it is actually a public document that was not even marked ‘classified’.

Like the proverbial foolish man who leaves a burning house to pursue a fleeing mouse, Mwansa Kapeya knows the people of Zambia are only interested in the swift enactment of the new constitution but he now goes a fishing expedition to investigate who ‘leaked’ a public document.

It is also not clear why government wants to waste time looking for whoever ‘shared’ the document whose authenticity they doubted, perhaps the new position now confirms that the so called 11th copy that the Zambianwatchdog gave the people is actually the correct one.

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