Justice Minister Given Lubinda says the Draft Constitution Amendment Bill of 2018 is expected to be finalized on April 13, 2018.

And Lubinda says the Zambia Council for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID) will later organize a summit for all political party leaders as a broader consultation mechanism on the draft copy.

In a ministerial statement to Parliament, Tuesday, Lubinda said the draft copy once finalized would be subjected for scrutiny by a team of eminent scholars between 16th and 20th April 2018.

“The Ministry of Justice is currently preparing the Draft Constitution Amendment Bill 2018, taking into account the stakeholder comments and submissions. The ministry is expected to finalize the drafting of the bill by 13th April 2018. The draft copy of the constitution amendment bill 2018 will thereafter be subjected to a team of draft persons and eminent scholars for scrutiny between 16th and 20th April 2018. On the 23rd of April 2018, the ministry will proceed with the process of obtaining Cabinet approval in principal to introducing to Parliament, a bill to amend the constitution of Zambia. The bill will then be published for 30 days as is required by law between 10th May and 10th June 2018,” Lubinda said.

He said his ministry would conduct a consultative cocus for members of parliament on 12th June 2018 to further scrutinize the draft copy before submitting it to secretary generals of political parties.

“In order to continue on the basis of broad consultation, the Ministry of Justice will conduct a consultative caucus for members of parliament on 12th June 2018. This will be followed by a consultative meeting of secretary generals of political parties to be convened on 13th June 2018. The outcomes of the caucus of parliamentarians and the consultative meeting of secretary generals shall then be presented to a summit of political party presidents to be held on 15th and 16th June 2018 whereas the caucus of parliamentarians will be facilitated by the Ministry of Justice, the meeting of secretary generals and the summit of presidents will be facilitated by the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID),” said Lubinda.

“Madam Speaker, the ministry anticipates that the constitution of Zambia amendment bill 2018 will be presented for first reading in parliament on 19th June 2018. It is government’s belief that through this process, all the divergent views on the constitution from all stakeholders will have been brought to the discussion table in keeping with out theme of not leaving anyone behind.”