By CHARITY MOONGA –
VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott has condemned the planned demonstrations over the Constitution-making process more so that the Technical Committee drafting the Republican document has not even handed it over to the Government.
Dr Scott said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that Government was disappointed with the slow pace at which the Technical Committee was working on the Constitution.
In condemning the planned demonstrations, Dr Scott said at the moment Government was as ignorant as everybody else on the contents of the draft Constitution.
“We also don’t know what is in the draft Constitution and the report, so it is premature and sad for people to go to the Cathedral to protest,” he said.
He said Government would be in a position to give the way forward with regard to the referendum after the Technical Committee hands over the draft Constitution.
“It has been disappointing that the Technical Committee has been slow and yet the Constitution-making process is straight forward,” he said.
Dr Scott said the Government would require the draft Constitution and the report to justify how the Technical Committee arrived at the recommendations that would be contained in the draft Constitution.
He said the Government expected the Technical Committee to hand over a draft Constitution that was coming from recommendations from previous Constitution Review Commissions as stated by the people.
“Government will not accept opinions in the draft Constitution. They are a Technical Committee and not a Constitution Review Commission, so their work was technical and we are not expecting them to give us their opinion but the will of the Zambian people as contained in the previous review Commissions.
“At the moment they have not yet complied and given us the draft Constitution and the report, at least not to my knowledge,” he said.
He said as long as the Technical Committee did not release the draft Constitution, it would be difficult for Government to release any information on the Constitution to the public.
There has been growing anxiety over the Constitution-making process after the Technical Committee last week said it would hand over the draft Constitution to the President alone and not simultaneously to members of the public as earlier promised.
Technical Committee spokesperson Ernest Mwansa was by Press time not available for a comment.
Civil society organisations, the church, opposition political parties and other stakeholders on Saturday held protest prayers in Lusaka to press for the simultaneous release of the draft Constitution.
The protests and demonstrations are scheduled to spread to the provinces