In the next three Pastoral Letters, namely: Call For Legitimising the New Zambian Constitution (1995), Church Leaders' Statement on the Constitutional Debate (1995), and Open Letter to the President and Members of Parliament (1996), the Catholic bishops, and other Christian leaders, sought to offer a moral guide on what was to be done regarding the adoption of the amended constitution. The concern of the Bishops was the Government intention of rushing the constitution through parliament without exhausting consultations with the general public. The constitution the Government wanted to rush through parliament had contentious issues, which needed further debate. When they made this call, the Church leaders emphasised that the constitution, being a document of the highest importance needed to be recognised and respected by all citizens. This could only happen if the citizens viewed the document as theirs by a deliberate process that allowed the people’s input to be officially recognised. This is why the process recommended by the Mwanakatwe Commission, of a constituent assembly, was a necessary condition towards popularising the constitution. According to the Church leaders, this was the only process that would deal adequately with the contentious issues that needed a broad national consensus before adoption. In spite of these appeals the Government used its majority in parliament to amend the constitution in a manner that marred the 1996 elections when UNIP boycotted the elections.
Issued in the Times of Zambia, October 3, 1995