THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is being mischievous and irresponsible for promoting lawlessness in the constitution-making process by supporting an acrimonious route to the referendum, Patriotic Front media and publicity vice chairperson Sunday Chanda has charged.
Speaking during a media briefing yesterday, Mr. Chanda said it was irresponsible for LAZ to urge members of Parliament to abscond their duties of making laws in Parliament.
“It is irresponsible for LAZ to promote lawlessness in the constitutional making process by supporting people calling for MPs to abscond their duties in Parliament of making laws,” said Mr. Chanda.
He said MPs were elected to make laws and not to abscond, adding that it was shameful for LAZ to take a confrontational route instead of leading the people of Zambia in debating the content in the final Draft Constitution so that they could make informed decisions when it comes to the referendum.
“MPs are elected to make laws, and we would like to invite LAZ to lead the way in the constitution-making process and open up the debate in the detail of the final Draft Constitution rather than making and supporting acrimonious statements and actions.
“It will be regrettable if LAZ would want to behave like NGOs or the Grand Coalition which are not professional bodies. LAZ has a huge task to do justice to this process. And the justice they should do to this process is to dig into details of the final Draft Constitution. Let LAZ tell the people of Zambia about the content of the final Draft Constitution and answer the simple question whether the current draft constitution is a consensus document because our position is that the final draft is not a consensus document,” Mr Chanda said.
And Mr. Chanda revealed that the Grand Coalition pushing for the people-driven Constitution wanted to rush the process because of personal interest.
He said the Grand Coalition together with LAZ wanted funny laws to be part of the constitution.
“Let’s also agree that the final Draft Constitution brings in funny provisions that the State shall recognise civil society organisation as players in the governance process, and this is the reason why the Grand Coalition is pushing for this draft constitution to go through the referendum in order to protect their interest. They want to be recognised under the parent constitution. Where on earth did you find a constitution which recognizes civil society in the parent law. The civil society is recognised by laws under which they are registered. So you cannot move them into the parent law which is the constitution of Zambia,” said Mr. Chanda. He said in the bill of rights, the Draft Constitution supports what he described as funny rights which promotes or opens the window for homosexuality in the country.
“When you go to the bill of rights, the final Draft Constitution begins to introduce very funny rights and I stand here to say that besides the Civil Society Organisations fighting for their own recognition under the Constitution they are also pushing for rights that will open the windows for homosexuality in this country. And if they want to say ‘no’ to this, I want to challenge Fr. Chiti and his Grand Coalition and any other person who has spoken about the Draft Constitution and pushing for the referendum in the current form to state the position on homosexuality. Let them state their position on homosexuality in clear and uncertain terms,” Mr. Chanda said. He has since challenged the Grand Coalition to explain why it did not want to engage into the debate of the content of the final draft Constitution with the people of Zambia.
“Ask them why they don’t want people to discuss the content of the final Draft Constitution, they know that people will reject the content and that is why they are pushing for the referendum before people agree on it. They want to rush it so that their interest and that of their donors or funders are protected,” said Mr. Chanda.