Chieftainess Nkomesha Mukamambo II of the Busoli people in Chongwe district has said a referendum is a must if the current Constitution making process is to stand the test of time.
Speaking at the on-going Lusaka province constitution convention on Monday, Chieftainess Nkhomesha said that the current constitution making process, like many others, would be in vain if it did not go to the referendum.
The Lusaka provincial constitution convention is part of the 3rd and last round of constitution conventions currently taking place, with the other two being southern and eastern provinces.
“The referendum is a must. Experience is the best teacher. We have had so many Constitution making processes but they have not yielded anything so this current process is the only hope for the Zambian people,” Chieftainess Nkomesha said.
She said it was good that this time around there was no Government white paper which required the Constitution committee to hand over the draft constitution to the President for him to make changes before presenting it to the people.
Chieftainess Nkomesha said the people of Zambia had declined the Government white paper in preference for a referendum as the way forward.
“We must set a precedent and ensure that we contribute to a constitution that will stand the test of time,” she said.
Earlier Non Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) executive director Emily Sikazwe, who is the newly elected deputy chairperson of the Lusaka constitution, said the content of the draft Constitution must be protected.
“The content must be protected but we are not sure if the referendum will be respected. Zambians need a Constitution. Let us give a legacy to the Zambians,” she said.
Meanwhile Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection executive director Father Leonard Chiti has been elected chairperson of the Lusaka province constitution convention.
Father Chiti won the election after beating Emily Sikazwe and Father Gabriel Mwanamwalye in the election that took place on Monday.
Dr Sikazwe was however later elected deputy chairperson of the convention.
In his inaugural speech, Father Chiti urged the delegates to do their best and ensure a good constitution as a lot of resources had been put in place for Zambia to have a good constitution.