Oasis Forum makes demands on constitution

The Oasis Forum has called on President Michael Sata to appoint the Referendum Commission if the current drafted constitution is to be subjected to referendum and later to parliament for enactment.
Oasis Forum Chairperson Beatrice Grillo said her organization is deeply concerned that no persons have been appointed to the referendum commission despite assurance from the Head of State during his first inaugural speech to parliament that the new draft constitution would be subjected to a referendum.
Mrs. Grillo noted that the delay by President Sata to appoint people to the referendum commission questions the possibility of having the draft constitution and within the shortest possible time.
The Referendum Commission is a permanent commission appointed by the President and established pursuant to section 4 of the Referendum Act to conduct and supervise any constitution prior to enactment by parliament to the wishes of the people.
ZANIS reports that Mrs. Grillo was speaking at a press conference in Lusaka today.
She was flanked by Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) Secretary General Cleophus Lungu, Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) vice president Martin Musaluka among other Oasis Forum members.
And Mrs. Grillo has urged the Constitution Technical Committee to operate independently if they are to deliver a people driven.
She, however, expressed confidence that the committee of experts will deliver the draft constitution that will reflect the long held aspirations of the Zambian people.
Mrs. Grillo further called on the experts to clearly and effectively communicate the constitution-making road map to the Zambian people so as not to erode the people’s confidence in the constitution-making process.
Meanwhile Mrs. Grillo has called on government to make public the total budget for the constitution-making process so as to enact the spirit of promoting transparency and accountability in the utilization of public resources.

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