THOSE advocating the withdrawal of the Constitution Amendment Bill from Parliament are themselves direct beneficiaries of the constitution-making process, says Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) president Andrew Ntewewe.
Mr Ntewewe claimed that such people benefitted from both the National Constitutional Conference and the Technical Committee on the Constitution.
He said many of those fighting the amendment bill benefitted from the huge allowances in various processes in coming up with the draft Constitution.
Mr Ntewewe said it was surprising that the people who had been there from the onset in fighting for a new Constitution were now eager to see the process fail due to selfish and unnecessary reasons.
“It is irresponsible and very unfortunate that the same people who have been leading the Constitution reform process should demand to kill the Constitution Amendment Bill currently being tabled before Parliament.
“It is the same people who orchestrated the collapse of the 2008 Constitution Bill in Parliament, then and today they want to fight against the wrapping up of the process all because of political expediency, despite the huge sums of money they received in transport refunds and allowances during constitution-making meetings,” he said.
Mr Ntewewe said YALI was amazed at the turn around in opinion of Grand Coalition chairman Father Leonard Chiti and Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ) general secretary Reverend Suzanne Matale both who had been against the continued wastefulness of the process because of huge amounts of taxpayers money.
He said both the senior members of civil society have participated at high levels in the constitution-making process with Fr Chiti having chaired the provincial convention during the Technical Committee while Rev Matale has been of valuable influence in both NCC and TC respectively.
“Members of the Grand Coalition have participated greatly in the constitution-making process including being beneficiaries themselves of the huge allowances that have been spent paying participants at meetings, including transport refunds for participants on radio and television programmes on the Constitution.
“It is annoying to note that most of these people have been in the process that has cost the country a lot of money but are now the same people who want to kill the Constitution amendment Bill in Parliament,” he said.
Mr Ntewewe accused the Grand Coalition of pushing for more expensive avenues of coming up with a new Constitution instead of helping the Government make cost-saving measures to achieve the same results.
He said the move by the Grand Coalition was meant to misdirect the Zambian people most of whom did not remember what happened at the NCC and the Technical Committee respectively.
Mr Ntewewe said YALI welcomed the decision to table the Constitution Bill in Parliament and called on all the members of the House to support the enactment of the new Constitution via Parliament to avoid the continued spending on the process.