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Storella Calls for People Driven Constitution

Mark StorellaZambia should come up with a Republican Constitution which will have strong public support to enable it stand the test of time, United States (US) Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella has advised.

Storella said it was important for the final document to have the support of all Zambians.

He was speaking during a media conference in Livingstone on Monday shortly after former US President George W. Bush and his wife Laura left Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport for the African First Ladies Conference in Tanzania.

“I don’t have a clear position on the question of whether or not there should be a referendum on the constitution, but let me say that Zambia should follow Zambian law.

“It is very important to have very strong public support when launching an important document like a constitution,” he said.

Storella said Republican constitutions were written for future generations, hence their drafting should have a long-term view.

“Zambia is not US and, therefore, you have your own country and your own history. Your Constitution should grow out of your own historical experience although you can learn from mistakes of the past,” he said.

Storella said his forefathers in the US met about 224 years ago in Philadelphia to write a constitution after learning from past mistakes.

He said he had met with the Technical Committee on drafting the Zambian Constitution and observed that they were serious with the exercise.

“The committee has done a lot of work to build on what the predecessors did and did not want to reinvent the wheel.

“The process of consultation in all provinces and districts has been active and important to create public support,” he said.

The Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambian Constitution is soon expected to submit a final document to President Michael Sata and the public.

Storella also said US President Barack Obama was placing a lot of value on Africa as witnessed during his recent visit to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania.

He said Obama recently met with a number of African justices including Zambia’s acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda in Senegal during his visit to the continent.

Source: Times of Zambia

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