Thu, 01 Dec 2016 08:15:48 +0000
GOVERNMENT should call for a constituent assembly before effecting any amendments to the Constitution, the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has suggested.
And the Law Association of Zambia should be in the forefront to guide the nation on what lacunas are in the Constitution even as Government invites other stakeholders to submit their amendment proposals, FODEP added.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, FODEP executive director Chimfwembe Mweenge reiterated that LAZ was composed of learned people in the field of law and that they should be able to spell out the perceived lacunas in the Constitution.
He explained that LAZ should be able to analyse the entire document, look at precedents and gaps, then advise the nation on the current position.
Mr Mweenge, however, pointed out that there was still time to bring everyone on board because the Constitution affected everyone.
“LAZ should be in the forefront to guide the nation on what perceived lacunas are there in the Republican Constitution. They should be able to analyse the entire document, look at precedent and gaps, then advise the nation on the current position.
‘‘But it is very important for Government to call for a constituent assembly before effecting amendments, where all people will be able to submit their proposals,” he said.
Mr Mweenge also stressed the need for all stakeholders, including the church, civil society, disabled and others to come together and suggest amendments to the Constitution collectively.
He explained that the Constitution was supposed to represent all the people and that it should assure protection.
Mr Mweenge warned that the process of having a constituent assembly was costly but that it was worth it because it ensured that everyone was represented.
He said that a constituent assembly would ensure that all views were considered and that there would be much less lacunas.
Mr Mweenge, however, pointed out that it was not possible for any country to have a perfect Constitution and that having a few lacunas was normal.
He commended Government for assuring the people that a draft Bill would be made available to the public for scrutiny