Sun, 18 Feb 2018 11:20:03 +0000
By CHIKUMBI KATEBE
LET us put behind the failed 2016 referendum and allow Zambians the opportunity to properly organize another one from the vital lessons learnt, says Young African Leaders Initiative governance organizer Isaac Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza said the constitutional court’s decision to dismiss the petition to challenge the holding of the 2016 referendum along side the general elections was a clear indication that there was nothing illegal about it. He said with the petition behind, Government must begin to put in place measures to host another referendum in the shortest possible time to allow for the completion of the constitutional making process.
“YALI consistently stated that no law was broken in the holding of the 2016 referendum although we still believe that a lot more could have been done to ascertain the correct threshold that should have been used in the last referendum.
“We now call upon President Lungu and his administration to quickly begin to put measures in place that will see Zambia host another referendum before the end of 2019 to allow Zambia enact a new Constitution that will have an expanded Bill of Rights,” he said.
He explained that the argument on why the referendum had failed was not because it was held alongside the election.
“We therefore believe that Government has the capacity to restart this process of holding a standalone referendum
“YALI therefore calls on government to utilise the free 2019 to hold such a referendum whose preparations commence now if the process is to succeed,” he said.
The appealed to the President using his powers under the Referendum Act to decree that a referendum be held on different days or months in the 10 provinces of Zambia.