We have said it before that the need for a new Constitution that can stand the test of time is not in dispute.
Zambians need a new good Constitution that will promote the political, social and economic welfare of the country.
In fact, Zambians needed a good Constitution decades ago in line with the dawn of multi-party politics.
But coming up with a new constitution cannot be achieved through the dictates of any one group of stakeholders in our country.
There is need for consensus as we approach issues surrounding the Constitution-making process.
The Grand Coalition on a people- driven Constitution cannot lead the fight for a new Constitution because it has partisan interests.
Those who are politically conscious would remember that the Grand Coalition is not only a grouping of civil society organisations but also political parties.
While the civil society organisations can afford to hide their partisan interests, the intentions of political parties are clear to all.
Political parties are formed with the view of some day taking up the governance system of a country.
In the case of the Grand Coalition, we cannot rule out political parties advancing partisan interest in their contribution to plans and programmes.
This is the objective of the political parties in the Grand Coalition.
We therefore understand the rigid position the Grand Coalition has taken.
It is not a civil society position to disregard negotiations and consensus to avoid conflict.
The civil society groupings we have known believe in trying out all possible conflict management skills to reach consensus.
Rigid positions are normally a preserve of political parties who have party interest positions to protect.
Political parties normally push their agenda to satisfy their supporters and cadres.
We are urging the Grand Coalition to study the Government roadmap and buy into the process instead of giving conditions to the party in power.
What the Grand Coalition should appreciate is that although they had made it clear that they would campaign against President Edgar Lungu because he did not sign their social contract on the constitution-making process, he has availed them his Government’s roadmap.
Further, Government has indicated that it is ready to start the process of amending the current Constitution by incorporating the Silungwe draft Constitution so that the Bill of Rights that requires a referendum can be dealt with during the general elections next year.
It is our view that stakeholders should embrace Government’s suggestion to test the political will of the Patriotic Front in the constitution-making process.