GOVERNMENT has announced that it will spend about K94.8 billion on the constitution-making process.
Minister of Justice Sebastian Zulu, however, said this amount does not cater for a referendum which will be conducted after the final draft constitution has been compiled.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the technical committee drafting the constitution has used less money on the process compared to what the K200 billion the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) used.
“You can see the wide margin between what was spent by the NCC and what will be spent now. The NCC spent about K200 billion,” he said.
Mr Zulu said the referendum will be expensive to conduct and that Government will have to allocate funds for the exercise in the next national budget.
He said the Ministry of Finance will be able to source for funding for the process, meaning that a referendum cannot be conducted soon.
And Mr Zulu said consultations in the constitution-making process are critical as they enable people to know what is going to be contained in the final document.
He said it will be difficult for people to vote wisely in the referendum if they do not read the draft document and familiarise themselves with its contents.
Mr Zulu said it is wrong for anyone to say that the committee has no road map because the road map has already been publicised.
He said the process has also taken long to complete because of the extensions that were made for consultations to take place but that the process is scheduled to end in December.
“The process was delayed because it took time to distribute the first draft document and the extensions made to the period for making submissions further delayed the process, but we are on track and the whole process will come to an end in December this year,” Mr Zulu said.