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Times of Zambia

THE draft Constitution of the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) will only be said to be legitimate if many Zambians were accorded an opportunity to participate in the making of the document, Vice-President, George Kunda has said.

Mr Kunda said in Lusaka yesterday during the launch of the NCC website http://www.ncczambia.org that information sharing was of paramount importance
in the Constitution making process.

Mr Kunda, who is also Justice Minister, said in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Todd Chilembo that he was convinced that the website would create the much needed interaction between the NCC and the general public.

“The website will provide a platform for members of the public to express their views on the work of the NCC through the ‘have your say’ window,” he said.

He urged members of the public to take advantage of the website in order to interact with members of the NCC and the secretariat on important issues that they would want to be included in the Constitution.

Mr Kunda said everyone should appreciate that the document that would be produced by the NCC would be a Constitution of the people designed to stand the test of time.

Mr Kunda said he was happy to note that from the time the NCC began its work on December 19, 2007, a lot of progress had been made in the Constitution making process with all but one of the committees of the conference having completed their work.

He said it was gratifying to note that many Zambians had been following the NCC’s deliberations with keen interest as was evidenced by the interaction and comments from members of the public through various channels.

NCC chairperson, Chifumu Banda said stakeholders should take advantage of the excellent opportunity to increase their interaction with the NCC and make their views and those of their members known to the conference.

Mr Banda urged members of the public who would have access to the new website to make their contributions online on the numerous issues under discussion by the NCC.

United Nations resident coordinator, Macleod Nyirongo said the UN’s support to the NCC stood at US$350,000.

Mr Nyirongo said the UN began by supporting a public information advocacy campaign by the constitutional review implementation committee, the forerunner of the NCC.

Mr Nyirongo also commended the Zambian Government and its people for tirelessly trying to deepen democracy in Zambia.

“The effort to accommodate divergent views from as many stakeholder groups as possible needs to be recognised as it is a key ingredient for conflict prevention,” he said.

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