It was disclosed that the civil society position paper was developed by over 150 civil society organizations countrywide including coalitions such as the National Coalition for Extractives (NACE) and the National Elections Watch (NEW) which highlights major concerns and deficiencies identified by CSO’s in respect of the 1991 constitution.
The civil society position paper recommends that the new constitution should be more effective as a fundamental law with clear provisions; that the constitution should represent the experience of the country and its people; that the 1991 constitution contravenes the rule of law by blending the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.
The paper also highlights under the section of gender, women’s rights and citizenship that it should guarantee protection from discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, circumstances of birth, race, sex, religion, political opinion, disability status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties, and other status.
The citizen’s position paper reportedly captures the views of over 1,600 citizens across the country on key provisional amendments they wish to see integrated in the new constitution as propelled by the organization to increase citizen’s participation in governance.
The paper stated under the section of judiciary that the new constitution should contain formidable provisions bothering on the independence of the judiciary; that the powers of the President to appoint judges and members of judiciary and legal services commission be reduced, by bringing onboard the influences of other groups such as the judiciary and civil society; that the human rights commission and high courts be the institutions where people can also access redress for violations.