By CHATULA KAMPO, REBECCA MUSHOTA and MAYA NTANDA –
A NDOLA-based non-Governmental organisation (NGO) has condemned opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) for their unruly behaviour in Parliament as they pressed for the release of the Constitution.
Last week, opposition MPs who demanded the release of the Constitution forced the Speaker to suspend Parliamentary sessions.
Authentic Advocacy for Justice and Democracy said the behaviour of the MPs in Parliament was unacceptable.
The organisation vice-chairperson Harrison Mulenga in an interview yesterday said MPs were expected to present the views of the people they were representing in Parliament and not their political agenda.
“It will be unfair for Government to just sign and release the document to the Zambian people.
“A Constitution is a very sensitive document of which we all know, so people should not put pressure on Government to release it,” he said.
And former Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Ben Phiri has said there is nothing to suggest that the Patriotic Front Government has veered from its earlier position to deliver a good Constitution.
Mr Phiri said President Michael Sata had indicated prior to ascending to power that his Government was not going to spend money on a Constitution Review Commission but would set up a technical committee to compile what had already been gathered.
“There is no need to hurriedly release the draft Constitution as though there is anything new in it.
“What is in this draft is what has been in the previous drafts. Releasing of the draft does not mean the release of a new Constitution,” Mr Phiri said.
The Zambia National Students Union (ZANASU) says it will not engage itself in any form of riots or protests over the Constitution-making process.
ZANASU deputy secretary general Kingsley Chinyama said students would not condone anything in the country that would disturb the development of the country.
Mr Chinyama said in Kitwe yesterday that ZANASU, which comprises all higher learning institutions in the country, wanted to seek an audience with President Michael Sata on what was delaying the process.
Mr Chinyama, who is also Copperbelt University Students Union president, said a roadmap was cardinal as opposed to what was happening where everyone wanted to be a hero by talking about the Constitution.