Students want draft constitution released

Is there hope for a people driven constitution today?
As the National students union body in Zambia, we have followed with keen interest the proceedings around the drafting of the national constitution by the Technical Committee. In view of this, one of the important outcomes at our most recent National congress held from 22nd to 23rd March 2014 at Evelyn Hone College and The University of Zambia Great East Road Campus respectively, was the need to engage actively in following up the release of the draft constitution by the Technical Committee as guided by the Terms of Reference. Henceforth, we wrote a letter to the Chairman of Technical Committee dated 24th March 2014 requesting the Committee to advise on the following critical issues:
If the constitution had been released to the Republican President, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata.
If the aforesaid had not been done, what were the critical delays in the process that already had datelines to it?
To also advise on the dates when they were planning to release the draft as advised for by the Terms of Reference
In response, the Technical committee wrote to the National union in a letter dated 25th March stating that they were done with the three documents i.e.
Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 03.39.33The Draft Constitution
The report of the Technical Committee
The Draft Constitution of Zambia Bill
In view of this background and the recent developments in this process as shown in various media, we the Students of this great Republic have the following concerns and requests to make
The Technical Committee on Drafting the National Constitution is a critical entity, but in view of the resources invested in the process and the undue prolongation thereof, the process has turned out to be very costly to our already struggling economic status as a nation.
The reluctance expressed by the government in championing the release of the Draft Constitution raises a lot of concern. We are well aware that the national constitution is actually a part of the party manifesto of the party in power therefore conflicting with the promises made by our government in taking on this challenge.
The conflicts in the Technical Committees submissions as having submitted the three documents to the Ministry of Justice and the information from the Ministry as having not received the said documents does not instil any sense of trust by the Citizens, in those to whom the responsibilities to lead the nation has been vested.
The effectiveness of the Minister of Justice in handling this Constitution is questionable in view of these recent developments.
The silence from the Head of State on this critical issue of National development is even more alarming. Our perspective is that the matter at hand is very important because it does not only shape the present day governance and legal frameworks but that of the future as well.
We therefore request the Head of State, His Excellency, President Michael Chilufya Sata to come out and address the Nation on this very important issue in the next 10 days to guide us on:
The Dates when the handover of the Draft Constitution will take place simultaneously to the Republican President and the great citizens of Zambia.
Guide the nation on the undue delays as well as on the steps to be taken thereof.
This, will help facilitate the process as well as instil in the vast majority of Zambians out there, a sense of confidence in the agendas laid out for this great republic in the light of having a people driven Constitution.
For any queries contact
Kayaya Joseph
National Union of Zambia Students (NUZS also known as ZANASU)

Share this post