Delegates at the ongoing National Dialogue Forum (NDF) have unanimously agreed to extend the sittings by another three days after failing to finish the Constitutional amendment process within the 10-day prescribed period.
The forum which began sitting on Wednesday 8th May, 2019 asked for a three-day extension from the Ministry of Justice which was expected to expire on Saturday, 11th Ma,y 2019.
NDF Secretary Patrick Chisanga however, announced the extension during a media briefing, Friday, explaining that there were many outstanding issues that needed to be addressed by the delegates and that all the deliberations needed to be accorded ample time.
The delegates had a heated debate over the fact that they could not be at the forum to attend sittings during the weekend before they finally agreed to sit from Saturday through to Tuesday.
“We’ve been gauging the progress of the forum and the members have been very engaged. They want to interrogate all issues at great length. So if we had aimed to conclude on Saturday, we would not have concluded considering all the issues comprehensively. So when we looked at the programme once again, it was clear that if every bill is going to be given comprehensive attention, we have to extend the time. So this it to ensure that all the four bills, including the secondary issues that have been raised are given ample time to be discussed fully and thoroughly. So the final day will be Tuesday. Yes we had extended up to Saturday but now we are extending up to Tuesday ,” said Chisanga.