Governance activist Rueben Lifuka says the outcome of the ICC consultations is predetermined.

Last week, Justice Minister Given Lubinda announced government’s decision to spend K2 million on consultations in 30 districts across the country.

But in an interview, Lifuka said the consultation process was flawed because the outcome was predetermined.

“The starting point should be – here is an argument from the Zambian government on what ICC is not doing correctly. Let us debate that as opposed to going to the final end of saying ‘let us withdraw’. I mean, we are asking the wrong question – should we withdraw or not? But that conversation is not there. The results can even be predetermined,” Lifuka said.

He said it was amazing that a country facing severe economic challenges could embark on such an exercise.

“Unless I haven’t read the Yellow Book carefully, I haven’t seen how that has been allocated. There is so much talk by the Minister of Finance that he will not spend what he doesn’t have. Where is the K2 million coming from? This in itself is sad,” Lifuka said.

He wondered how government would manage to explain the decision to pull out of the ICC when it failed to explain the Referendum.

“If the Referendum, which is about the people’s rights was so difficult to explain, how are you going to explain ICC to the people out there?” asked Lifuka.

“And how is it a priority for the rural community that doesn’t have access to clean water. It has no access to sanitation. It is grappling with the agricultural crop. Why would they spend their time talking about the ICC?”