The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) has called for the complete withdrawal of the Constitution Amendment Bill number 10 of 2019 from Parliament in order to facilitate genuine stakeholder consultation.

Last Wednesday, Parliament deferred Bill 10 proceedings to February next year so as to leave enough time to the budget in the current sitting.

In a statement, Tuesday, CiSCA chairperson Bishop John Mambo said although the society welcomed the move by the Parliament to defer the Bill to next year, it should be withdrawn in totality as it did not reflect the will of the citizens.

“The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) welcomes the move by the National Assembly to defer the process of enacting the Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 10 to February 2020. CiSCA also receives the report and contents therein of the Select Parliamentary Committee constituted to scrutinize bill 10. Clearly, the report and its content vindicate CiSCA on the spirit of Bill 10 that it did not reflect the will of citizens and lack of inclusivity of the NDF,” Bishop Mambo stated.

“As can be noted, those who submitted before the select committee rejected more than 50% of the proposed amendments contained in Bill 10. The Select Committee also opposed most of the provisions of Bill 10. So who proposed the amendments contained in Bill 10 and in whose interest? We appeal to the Zambian government to not only defer Bill 10, but to completely withdraw it from the House in order to facilitate genuine stakeholder consultations, dialogue, mutual trust and participation which is essential for consensus building in any process aimed at altering the national constitution.”

He stated that any alteration to the Constitution should be aimed at promoting democratic principles and standards.

“Further, we would like to emphasize that any alteration to the national Cconstitution must aim at making our supreme law better and always conform to acceptable democratic principles and standards including separation of powers, promotion of checks and balances and enhanced state accountability to the citizens, which lacked in all aspects of Bill 10,” stated Bishop Mambo.

“CiSCA appeals to the citizens of our country Zambia to continue being vigilant and guard against any attempts by those in authority to temper with our Constitution to the benefit and appease of a few individual. Article 2(a) and (b) of the Zambia Cconstitution empowers every Zambian citizens to defend the Republican Constitution. Stand up and save the Republican Constitution.”