ZAMBIANS FOR EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (ZED) PRESS RELEASE ON THE COMPOSITION OF THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE APPOINTED BY STATE PRESIDENT MICHAEL SATA TO DRAFT THE CONSTITUTION BILL
As a party, we have always been quick to commend President Sata when he has made correct decisions because we believe that his success as head of state is the success of Zambia as a whole. But we will be failing in our duty as a responsible opposition if we turn a blind eye to the president’s decisions which are inimical to national interest. We have observed with dismay that the composition of the technical committee appointed by President Sata to draft the constitution bill is not properly balanced.
In particular, we are very concerned that the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) which represents a large constituency of voters and has historically contributed significantly to the constitution-making process is conspicuously absent. Meanwhile, the other two main church mother bodies, CCZ and ZEC, are well represented, with the latter contributing three bishops, besides the numerous Catholics who are there in their individual capacities.
We do not need to remind President Sata that the last constitution-making process superintended by the MMD failed, largely on account of the controversy which surrounded the composition of the National Constitutional Conference (NCC). This was the main reason why the NCC was boycotted by several key stakeholders, including President Sata’s then opposition Patriotic Front.
We should learn from our past mistakes as a nation if we are going to avoid falling in the same ditch. President Sata is not only a president of one segment of society; he is president of all Zambians. It is not too late for the president to rectify this error and ensure that we have a truly all-inclusive constitution-making process.
This is important because the constitution represents the supreme law of the land and embodies the aspirations and values of the citizens. Our advice is that President Sata should immediately bring EFZ on board.
Dr. Fredrick Mutesa
Zambians for Empowerment and Development (ZED)