Zambia not ready for another referendum-YALI

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 09:00:58 +0000


ZAMBIA is not ready to hold another referendum because of its huge cost on the country’s economy, says Young African Leaders Initiative governance director Isaac Mwanza.

President Edgar Lungu during the just ended African Union smmit in Ethiopia said  he was not in a hurry to resurrect the issue of the National Referendum anytime soon as it would disturb development projects his Government has so far embarked on across the country. He was speaking to Zambian nationals living in that country at a Meet the President event organised on the sides of the summit.

Mr Mwanza said he was in agreement with President Edgar Lungu’s announcement that the country could not embark on another referendum because it would drain funds meant for the country’s development projects. He said the Government should prioritise national development against projects which would gobble the country’s resources such as the referendum which collapsed purely in the basis of political expedience.

“YALI is of the view that the Referendum discussion must be planned for 2019 while a number of amendments to the Constitution should be embarked upon and completed by 2018. YALI agrees with President Lungu that priority of resources ought to be given to developmental programs as opposed to the resurrection of the national Referendum.

“It is important to appreciate that holding a referendum at this point is planning another failure,” Mr Mwanza said.

He said the nation was still undergoing healing following the 2016 general elections, and it would be best if the country switched its focus to non-partisan matters like infrastructure development such as building hospitals, roads and schools among others.

He said while YALI agreed with the President’s view that the referendum was not on Government’s agenda, it should also served as a reminder for citizens that holding a Referendum was not only a cost but that those who were defeated in the last general elections should take the blame.

“We think the only time to think of holding another referendum should be in 2019,” he said.


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