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REFERENDUM COMING BACK – MINISTER

...Govt consults on referendum on Bill of Rights

By PETER SICHALI

MODALITIES to hold another referendum on the Bill of Rights are being put in place because Government remains committed to enhancing the rights of citizens, Justice Minister Given Lubinda has said.

In late 2016, Mr Lubinda announced that Government had started the consultation process on the referendum to determine the best way to ensure that the enhanced Bill of Rights forms part of the Constitution.  

Mr Lubinda said the process had not been abandoned as Government would ensure the Bill of Rights was enhanced.

He said in an interview yesterday that Government would conduct another referendum when the time was right.

“We remain committed to enhancing the Bill of Rights by holding a referendum,” Mr Lubinda said.

Mr Lubinda said Government had in the meantime embarked on repealing and amending some legislation to strengthen the rights of citizens without necessarily affecting the Bill of Rights.

He cited the Prisons Act which has been repealed to Correction Facilities Act.

The minister said consultations on the referendum to determine the best way to ensure that the enhanced Bill of Rights were being held.

Mr. Lubinda said Government was committed to ensure that the will of Zambians was respected and that citizens were given another opportunity as soon as possible to vote and give themselves an enhanced Bill of Rights. He observed that the failure of the 2016 referendum entailed that the current Bill of Rights, contained in part III of the Constitution, continued to be in effect until when another referendum was held.

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