The Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue (ZCID) welcomes the statement by the Constitution Technical Committee regarding the launch of the first draft of the Constitution. At least there is progress in that area. However, we wish to reiterate our desire to see that the people’s wishes are reflected in the new document.
ZCID stands ready to work with all progressive Zambians to ensure that the Constitution making process is successful. However, it is important to mention here that ZCID will not accept a document that will not only leave out the aspiration of the people of Zambia but will also reject the document if it specifically leaves out the desires of the Zambian Political society. We will campaign against it. ZCID will, therefore, not accept the Constitution which does not provide for among other things;
- Establishment of The Political Parties Commission to be responsible for registration and regulation of political parties. Zambian political parties do not wish to continue being registered as clubs under the societies act. The role of political parties in any country is quite different from that of mainstream social clubs. Political parties are not social clubs but constitute the institutional framework for state administration
- A Political Parties Act which stipulates the rights and duties of political parties and which also provides a legal framework for Public Funding to political parties
- Mixed Member Proportional Representation which gives chance to the under represented to access leadership positions
These, to us, are fundamental in addition to other equally important provisions which we have made clear in the past. We wish to urge the Technical Committee to ensure that the process is participatory and representative of the majority of Zambians. Needless to mention that it would be folly to ignore the views of political society because in the end the document will still land on their desks! Let us all ensure that we do not create conditions for the rejection of the draft Constitution again.
Lastly, we wish to inform the general public and our members in particular that following the announcement that the Draft Constitution will be launched soon, ZCID will in the next weeks conduct Regional Platforms to discuss the contents of the draft Constitution in order to get the views of the public regarding certain provisions in the new document. Political Parties must take note and get ready to engage with their membership in the districts.
Horrance Chilando (Mr)