Political dialogue key to constitution amendment process

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Government says the outcome of the political dialogue process will determine when the Constitution Amendment bill will be published.

Minister of Justice Given Lubinda said the directive by President Edgar Lungu to suspend the constitution amendment process is meant to create room for political players to deliberate on provisions in the Constitution so that their submissions and recommendations can be taken on board.

“President Lungu has been magnanimous and Government has been open and does not want to fall into the trap of living anyone behind. We want all those who have views on the constitution to bring them on board, but if you ask me when the constitution amendment bill will be published, I don’t know and only the dialogue process will determine the way forward,” Mr Lubinda said.

The Minister also said the dialogue process will also decide whether to open the constitution making process to further submissions from other stakeholders outside political parties or not.

He said Government had however intended to publish the Constitution Amendment bill in May but did not do so considering that some stakeholders such as political parties had not actively participated in the process.

The Minister said this in Ethiopia when he transited to Rome to attend the pallium ceremony for Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Lusaka Bishop Rev Dr Alick Banda.

The Pallium ceremony is a ceremony where the Pope officially gives authority to newly installed Archbishops.

Mr Lubinda is also expected to meet with the Holy see on Wednesday as arranged by the Nuncio in Zambia.

Inutu Mwanza

The writer is a Zambian Journalist currently working as the First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia

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