GOVERNMENT has called for the arrest of some officials in the Ministry of Justice who are suspected of having leaked the constitutional roadmap to the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Joseph Katema said the leaking of the Constitution roadmap to the opposition UPND was a serious criminal act.
“I want to inform you that a serious criminal act has been committed at the Ministry of Justice where some misguided persons have illegally released a classified document to the opposition UPND. This crime requires an immediate thorough probe by the police and subsequent court action,” Dr Katema said.
He said Zambians may recall that when Minister of Justice Edgar Lungu was appointed, he presented the draft Constitution to Parliament in the first two months of assuming office.
Dr Katema said this act of good faith and commitment was done in order to allow members of Parliament to go through the document and make recommendations in consultation with their constituents.
“This was after a consultative meeting with civil society members. In addition, Mr Lungu constituted a technical team to advise on how to move the process forward in order to fulfill the wishes of Zambians that have been calling for a new people-driven Constitution.
“I regret to inform you that this document that was to chart a progressive way forward has been stolen and subsequently released to the public even when it is a bona-fide Government document that would normally require clearance before being released to the public,” he said.
Dr Katema said Government took the crime seriously and would like the police to vigorously probe the matter and take the perpetrators to court.
He said the Patriotic Front wanted to run a Government of laws and not wanton disorder that had the potential of throwing the nation into chaos.
Dr Katema said the PF Government was the only party capable of passing the Constitution in Parliament for clauses that do not require a referendum because it had the numbers.
The ruling party had 81 MPs with Dr Katema claiming that the PF also had the support of 26 other opposition legislators.
He said the UPND which was encouraging illegal acts at the Ministry of Justice could not pass any law because it had only 27 MPs.
Dr Katema said the UPND could not even form the bare minimum quorum of 53 required for Parliamentary business to take place.
“Government finds the behaviour of UPND unprofessional by taking credit for the work done by the Ministry of Justice.
“As a Government we work on the basis of integrity and such desperate actions raises serious questions of lack of integrity on the part of the UPND. No wonder they are far away from a position where they can be trusted with the responsibility to run government,” he said.