A constitution is by its very nature not popular reading.

It requires time, effort and particular interest to read and assimilate the document.

It is however vital that Zambians must acquaint themselves, however in passing as it may be with the document that President Edgar Lungu assented to yesterday.

The value of the constitution is not so much in its enactment but its observance.  This compels every Zambian with ability to read and find application in every day practice.

It must be realised that no constitution is perfect, no constitution is cast in stone, indeed no constitution will remain immutable and yet it is important that apart from the drafters, the citizens also gain an understanding of the content to ensure that the values for which our forefathers so diligently fought for and strived come to fruition.

Some of the clauses may be esoteric and therefore only useful to experts but the bulk has wide application which transcends political ethnic or indeed party affiliation relates to such important practices as judiciary

We are fully aware that some citizens are opposed to the mode of adoption of the amended Constitution but this is no reason for anybody to disobey the new laws.

Those opposed to the contents should wait until they are in charge to give people what they want.

It should however be understood that the Constitution, indeed any constitution cannot satisfy the wishes of all Zambians.  There will be lacunas that will only become clear with the passage of time and with implementation.  These issues will call for amendments, which once again will be the responsibility of Parliament.

These areas of dissatisfaction will only become clear if all Zambians educate themselves on what has changed in the new Constitution. Ignorance is no defence so it is paramount that civil society, political parties, the law association of Zambia and other interest groups thoroughly educate the public on what is contained in the new constitution.

With the Presidential and general elections only seven months away, we know the temptation to concentrate on political clauses would be very high but Zambians should know that the amended Constitution has so many provisions of State.

The new Constitution is not just about the 50 percent plus one vote for a winning Presidential candidate nor is it about the running mate clause but it is also about the separation of powers of the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

The new laws spell out how the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary should now operate.

Therefore, it is important for Zambians to understand the legal regime backing the institution of State now to derive maximum service from that which they need to serve them.

This is the reason why we are supporting President Lungu’s call for Zambians to read the content so that they can fully understand the legal system they have adopted.

Categorized | Editorial

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