Chishimba Kambwili
Chishimba Kambwili

Chief Governemnt spokesperson and minister of Information Chishimba Kambwili has said the probability of holding a successful referendum before the 2016 general elections, under the current constitutional provisions is slim.Speaking at a press briefing this morning Mr Kabwili said the Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, remains fully committed to delivering a new Constitution and is considering all possible options of delivering a new Constitution in the shortest possible time.

Citing Article 79 (3) of the current Constitution of Zambia that states

A bill for the alteration of Part III of this Constitution or of this Article shall not be passed unless before the first reading of the bill in the National Assembly it has been put to a National referendum with or without amendment by not less than fifty per cent of persons entitled to be registered as voters for the purposes of Presidential and parliamentary elections.

Mr Kambwili said the requirement is that more than half of the people that are eligible to vote in a general election should participate in a referendum for it to be valid.

The preliminary 2010 Census Report states that the total number of eligible voters is 6, 069, 753. This means that for the referendum to be successful, in accordance with Article 79(3), more than fifty per cent (50%) of 6, 069, 753, which translates into more than 3, 034, 877 eligible voters must participate in the vote.

In this case, the first basic minimum requirement is that voter turnout should be more than 3, 034, 877. This figure translates into 59% of the current number of registered voters, which stands at 5, 166, 084.

Mr.Kambwili said the Zambian people may wish to note that although the voter register captures over 5, 000,000 eligible voters, voter apathy in Zambia has been on the increase. In the 2011 tripartite elections, with that massive campaign, the country only attracted 2, 789, 340 voters, representing 54% of the total number of registered voters. This is despite the fact that there were thousands of candidates contesting elections at ward, constituency and national (presidential) level.

In 2015, out of the same number of registered voters, only a paltry 1, 671, 662 voters turned up to vote, representing 32% of registered voters. This is notwithstanding the fact that there were eleven candidates who campaigned in all corners of the country by holding mammoth rallies and engaging grassroots political party structures.

Mr.Kambwili said government is sincerely concerned that the current voter apathy may negatively affect the referendum and render it an exercise in futility. A failed referendum will entail that the electoral related provisions contained in the Final Draft Constitution, which do not require a referendum, will not be made part of the Constitution during the 2016 presidential and general elections.

He said in taking a rigid stance on the referendum, the Grand Coalition should consider the fact that in a referendum there are no candidates and this could make it extremely challenging to reach voters and persuade them to participate in the referendum. A referendum campaign usually lacks a personal appeal that comes with an election. In an election, candidates attract friends and relatives to turn up and vote.

Mr.Kambwili said while government remains open to dialogue on adopting the new Constitution through a national referendum, the PF government wishes to invite the Grand Coalition to critically and objectively interrogate the success probability of a national referendum and give comfort that the people of Zambia will not stand to lose out.

He said the Grand Coalition needs to demonstrate that there is enough capacity and time to woo 59% of the current registered voters to the polling station before the 2016 general elections. As earlier stated, the most recent poll only attracted 32% of registered voters.

Mr.Kambwili said it is for this reason that government, in utmost sincerity, finds it more realistic to have popular demand provisions, of the Final Draft Constitution of the Silungwe Constitution Technical Committee that do not need a referendum, be incorporated in the Constitution by amending the current Constitution. He said this is not only cheap but faster, considering that the elections are not very far.

Through Parliament, all the provisions in the current Constitution that need to be changed can be changed, leaving out the Bill of Rights (Part III) and Article 79 of the current Constitution.

The Bill of Rights and Article 79 can be subjected to a referendum at a later stage. Mr Kambwili said this, for example, could be during the 2016 General Elections. In this case, in addition to a presidential, parliamentary and council ballot, a ballot for the Constitution could be added so that as people vote for their representatives they also vote for the alteration of Part III and Article 79 of the current Constitution. If the voter turn-out in 2016 does not meet the referendum threshold, it would not be a waste of resources in that the exercise would not have been a stand-alone activity.

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138 COMMENTS

    • That’s no sense! If presidential and parliamentary votes are feasible why not a referendum?
      Please don’t shift goal posts.

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    • Let’s be real, he does have a valid point. Voter apathy is on the rise. We can anticipate very low turnout for a referendum. With the illiterate masses in this country. They would rather go to the fields than go and vote in a referendum.

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    • That is acceptable, and I think the PF are going about it the correct way.

      Referendum after you vote or PF in 2016.

      I trust Kambwili the position suits him as well.

      Thanks
      Bb2014

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    • That article of the constitution must have been misconstrued by Hon. Kambwili. I suppose it must be construed to mean at least 50% OF VOTES CAST should be in favour of the amendment, and the people eligible to vote must be those eligible for presidential and parliamentary elections.
      Where on earth can the law demand for 50% of all citizens eligible to vote including the unregistered ones? What method would you use to determine the number of voters apart from the voter’s register and voter turn-out?
      Hon Kambwili should have consulted DR Simbyakula before embarrassing himself in this manner

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    • Promise them money in their pockets via the voting booth and see the stampede to the pooling stations.

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    • YOUR SO-CALLED VOTER APATHY IS NO EXCUSE MR. KAMBWILI. IT IS THE DUTY OF GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE YOU PROVIDE CIVIC EDUCATION TO THE NATION TO BRING AWARENESS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM. PLEASE LET US FOLLOW THE LAW OF THE LAND IN THIS REGARD. WITH ENOUGH PUBLICITY AND ADVERTISING ON THE REFERENDUM, VOTER TURN OUT WILL SURELY BE MORE THAN THE REQUIRED FIGURE, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS DONE AT THE RIGHT TIME OF THE YEAR. BE POSITIVE MR. KAMBWILI. NEGATIVITY ON THIS ISSUE WILL NOT TAKE US ANYWHERE.

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    • Folks lets forget about this Constitution nonsense. PF will manipulate the constitution to favour their perpetual stay in power when the Kwacha has now started falling in double digits against the $dollar and £pound

      Just yesterday, Kwacha was K10.5 to a £pound and now its K11.2 to a £pound within less a day.

      By the end of the week the Kwacha will fall to reach K13 to a £pound.

      At this rate the Kwacha is falling , it will reach K20 to £pound by mid march.

      Just at K15 to £pound, then Zambians should brace them selves with the effects fuel increases which will trigger increases in prices across the board.

      Viva Lungu for lunushaling the kwacha at the rate unprecedented in Zambia before.

      Even the useless uneducated late Sata never allowed the kwacha to fall at this rate…

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    • Kambwili does have a valid & legitimate point. ( I don’t usually buy into his rants )

      ” In accordance with Article 79(3), more than fifty per cent (50%) of 6, 069, 753, which translates into more than 3, 034, 877 eligible voters must participate in the vote ”

      This requires a bigger campaign message to the people and explain what this is all about – to pass the 50% turn out of registered voters.

      However, the onus remains in PF to mobilise the nation. The opposition to join hands with PF and drive this task without Party Political Broadcasts, to come to pass.

      Otherwise, Zambia will take off only to find ourselves fail to come up with a Peoples Constitution – due to technicalities of the Law or Article 79(3)

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    • This constitution nonsense is all politics. I yet have to find a country that is as dysfunctional as Zambia is. What a travesty.

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    • Show me a country that has a by-election every three months and a presidential election every three years, and I will show you a country that has voter apathy. Call it voter fatigue, not apathy.

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    • An average Zambian tries to survive on $2 a day. Make elections meaningful and you will be able to cure so called “voter apathy.” So far, voting in Zambia has not translated into better quality living. It’s total meaninglessness and absolute nonsense. Meanwhile, let the jackals continue to feast while the people starve.

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    • You people are difficult even a simple explanation by honourable minister you fail to understand. It does not mean no new constitution. He just basing on the most recent poll which only attracted 32% of registered voters when a referendum need more than 50%. He means that even after a referendum there will no constitution if we fail to meet that target. So could be done is that they must change the current constitution removing that article saying more than 50%. And we need is a good constitution not a referendum. The only thing to be done is the Political parties must say what they want, the Church also, Civil societies and others then included in the constitution through simple meetings other than waste scarce money.

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    • Who on earth has been coaching these PF morons not to use their big heads and feisty brains to think? This Punctuated Fiasco (PF) is the epitome of Punctured Feudalism (PF). How and where on earth can you tell someone whom you’ve just run over with your car, due to your drunken driving, who is, as a result, hemorrhaging profusely from the injury he has sustained; that you cannot rush him to the ICU for fear he might die along the way?

      That voter apathy this uncouth comrade is hallucinating about happens to be the danger signal that the average Zambian is bleeding profusely; and the PF government is responsible.

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    • I will tell you what happens in other, and probably better organized and more civilized countries, one of which, I happen to now be a resident of. When there is an election, they bring in all the other issues that need to be voted on. This way, they don’t call people every two weeks to go and vote on this or that.

      In Zambia, voting has become the order of the day. It is becoming another form of sport – a thing we all must be pre-occupied with all the time. You read about a by-election here and a by-election there. This is nonsensical. We thought the days of Sata are gone! And why must you turn around and complain about voter apathy? It’s voter fatigue, for your information.

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    • I have always mentioned here with severity that the Grand Coalition is nothing but a solicitous body instead of being serious. I also mentioned before and I will repeatedly say it over and over again that a referendum is an expensive enterprise that lacks efficacy.

      I am glad that Kambwili is saying the same things I said way back when EL was acting and he immediately released the Final Draft and I urged for ratification except for the Bill of Rights which requires a referendum.

      I did mention that if everyone insisted on a referendum, we may never get a new constitution before 2016 because it requires full participation to be considered legal, in this case 59% of registered votes.

      In fact, one reason EL decided not to sign GC social contract could have been voter apathy.

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    • The $64 million question is, why would reasonable people require something that is likely not workable yet expensive for nothing? Our love for quibble for labels make Africa lag behind.

      A buzz word like referendum sounds complicated but ineffective while a simple word like ratification by parliament may sound simple but workable. And by the way, why do we have MPs? Aren’t they suppose to represent members of their constituents?

      Why not dispatch MP to their constituents gather their opinions and represent those in parliament through ratification? No, we can’t do that because we as the Grand Coalition would then be irrelevant!

      And yes, you’re irrelevant, you have shifted goal posts because your funding depends on your ability to show relevance. It’s about the money to you now.

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    • In short, if we want a new constitution we should force government to put a timeline on their road map. Push for ratification on all parts that don’t require a referendum so that all those parts are part of the Republican Constitution going into 2016.

      Then attached the Bill of Rights and Articles such as 79 that require a referendum to the same ballot papers for the 2016 Tripartite and General Elections.

      And guess what? If voter turn out ends up being over the required threshold, then the Bill of Rights and subsequent Articles pass if not hard luck, time for Plan B on them but others would be in place.

      As Bill Clinton used to say, it’s the KISS principle at work here (Keep It Simple Stup!d).

      And the smart people of the Zambian Enterprise will live ever happy after 2016.

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    • This is not on about whether Kambwili has scored or not. It is about what to do next in view of the valid observation of Goverment. It does not end here. Recall that the draft constitution contains Zambians submissions. What do they do with their demands having been told this? Zambians can’t just throw their arms in the air and not look for a solution because Bwana Kambili has referred to a valid precedent.

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    • In fact, in the simplest of terms, every time a general population goes to the polls to elect a new president, councilor, member of parliament, mayor, etc. they are holding a referendum on issues and respective candidates.

      Why not attach important referendum items to the 2016? All you have to do is make certain you have a huge voter turnout for referendum items to pass the threshold test.

      Keep It Simple Stup!d ~ William Jefferson Clinton.
      42nd President of the United States of America

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    • @ Wanzelu

      I am concerned. What else do you do apart from posting comments? You people are the reason why our economy isn’t improving, not the GRZ. How can we develop when you guys are so lazing around? Waiting for HH to win, you’ve been waiting ever since 2009, no working at all..

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  1. The very reason we have voter apathy is due to flawed constitution. Just wake up my friend. Give us pipo driven constitution.

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    • 100% … Give the people what they want whatever it takes… We have to bite the bullet here. A referendum – essentially a general election – before another general election is not feasible. No resources, no voters due to voter fatigue. Further all are generally agreed on the contents of the new constitution so no political party or NGO will waste time and money campaigning for or against it instead of the actual election.

      I say let parliament rubber stump it we hold election under the new constitution then hold a referendum on outstanding issues later.

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    • These baffoons are really trying very hard to find a reason not to have a referendum over the constitution. This is what is commonly referred to as “clutching on to straws”. Why all this foaming at the mouth just to convince the Zambian population that we cant have a referendum. One day its that it will be too expensive, the next day there will be voter apathy. At this rate Kambwili will predict rain on the proposed day of the referendum.
      Just tell the people, you dont that after all the money spent on the draft constitution, the PF government does not want a people driven constitution. Period!

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    • so in your own reasoning, if theres voter apathy is it going to be a people driven constitution, or do you know what voter apathy means?

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  2. Which university did Kambwili go to mwebantu twapapata?! There is a wise saying that “at times it’s better to keep your mouth shut, at least people will not realise you are a fool” . Kambwili thinks yapping a lot is synonymous with wisdom but each time he opens his mouth he just shows us how small his brain is.

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    • What you have said applies to you and not Kambwili. Read the Constitution and tell us where Kambwili is at fault with his interpretation.

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    • Kambwili is merely quoting what the zambian law stipulates with regard to the referandum, he is not creating articles to the law.
      Do you need to go to a university to be able to understand anything written in english surely??????? Mwilatusebanya twapapata, zambia is not an illiterate nation. We can’t all be bloggers like some of you, but please bear in mind that you are NOT the only enlightened person. Take time to think before rubbishing anything.

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    • Mwansa which university did you go to. To me it looks you just writing without thinking through what Kambwili is saying.

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    • the one with a small brain is you because you are failing to come to terms with what the minister is saying, just take some time and reason with your self wether what you are sensing really makes sense.

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    • This is a very clear explanation that any patriotic citizen would not argue against but its like some people can’t just interpret his argument correctly or deliberately they have decided to do so. He actually means good but for some its difficult to interpret numbers

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  3. Mushota you are inconsistent. Is it many people writing under one ID or you just enjoy being inconsistent? You can keep quiet when you have nothing constructive to post.

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    • Suppose she found logic in what Kambwili say? It’s because she read and understood the article while many others did not

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  4. ‘ Mr Kambwili said this, for example, could be during the 2016 General Elections. In this case, in addition to a presidential, parliamentary and council ballot, a ballot for the Constitution could be added so that as people vote for their representatives they also vote for the alteration of Part III and Article 79 of the current Constitution.’

    SOMEONE EDUCATE ME. Isn’t there going to be undue influence on the part of the electorate if this exercise is done at the time the polls are being held? Because to me, it sounds like the person that’s willing to deliver the constitution is the hero, so why not vote for him? Or is this another strategy to bring dormant voters out in droves because they don’t want to miss out on the constitution making process. Any lawyers or political…

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  5. I like the arguments presented by the Minister Kambwili.
    If the vehicle you are supposed to use to go to Livingstone is not in good condition, and assessment shows it can only take you no more than 150Km before it utterly breaks down, there would be no need to start off as such a move would not only be futile, but also unfruitful cost (cost with no benefit).
    If the provisions state that not less than 50% of eligible voters must participate in referendum, then I don’t see the nation achieving that statistic at the moment. Just look at how many people take keen interest in the constitution, even reading the draft. In fact very few of you posting here have even fully gone through what you wish to call for, but of course since it is a topic we all want to talk.

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    • But who has made the vehicle to be in such a bad state? to use your analogy, isn’t it the same politicians. Why do our politicians always try to dribble us? After 2016 it will be another excuse.

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  6. Kambwili, this will come to bite you. Dont think you are smart by playing with people’s lives like this. Go on give excuses and you will see the outcome in 2016.

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  7. This is what I have been saying all along and this is what Nevers Mumba in his concession speech said. We can amend the parts of the constitution that are not contetentious and hold the referendum at the same time is the 2016 elections and the Grand Coaltion need to exhibit level headness and support this move by Government. This make a lot of sense to me.

    I hope the those opposed really read the reasons advanced here and look past the messenger Kambwili, the message is solid and makes sense.

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    • Nonsense! Its the same contentious issues that every RULING party wants to avoid. Kambwili is using apathy as an excuse at first it was cost. A new reason will always come up. Does it mean there will be no apathy in 2016? In any case what does one do about apathy? It is not a legal impediment but a social one which needs proper persuasion and marketing. E.g. You don’t stop making condoms just because people don’t want to use them! A proper marketing and campaign message and people change!

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    • @MMD Chief Bootlicker:

      For the first time in a long time, I am in total agreement with you. Simple and straight forward, just like I said when the Final Draft was released by EL while he was Acting President.

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    • if theres voter apathy and the very people you are talking about dont vote WHICH PEOPLE DRIVEN CONSTITUTION are you going to refer to since the very people you want to participate in the process are not willing to vote?

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  8. Can you see honesty at play you people.
    Why do you want to miss this opportunity. We have a willing President and you want to cause confusion. In Zambia do not pretend, the constitution has alluded us because no President exhibited open willingness to make Zambia have a new constitution. We have one, mwayamba kuvina ndendeule.
    Remember EL will win with or without the new constitution. He will soon be advised to stop talking about the constitution and then who loses. Remember he refused to sign the social contract and did not participate in High School Debate organized by Muvi TV but he won the election despite De-campaigning him. This tell you what type of voters you have in Zambia. We have time to have the constitution, avoid procrastination for the sake of Zambians

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    • Only those who want to fool themselves believe that ECL won the elections. He is in office through cheating and in his heart of hearts he and his team are aware of this fact.

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  9. The Zambian people will never have a new constitution, reasons being PF are in government and want a constitution that can favor them and not a people driven one period! Next time vote wisely!

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    • There can never be careful voting in Zambia as it has been demonstrated twice now. The people’s will doesn’t really matter as we all know. Perhaps we should just have a life-president regardless of their performance in office since the will of the people don’t matter any more. I believe this is what kambili is saying ultimately.

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  10. HON. KAMBWILI HAS A POINT. LET’S LEAVE INSULTS OUT FOR ONCE , DEBATE AND ANALYSE ISSUES CRITICALLY WITHOUT BIAS.

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    • I agree. It seems some bloggers here would rather go to a referendum that won’t yield a constitution and then we would have wasted resources. Don’t get me wrong, I, like most Zambians want the new constitution ASAP but let’s be objective and instead of insulting suggest solutions that will tackle this voter apathy problem we clearly have if we are to hold a referendum

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  11. There is a difference between Eligible voters and Actual voters. Watch towers are eligible to vote but they don’t vote. So many eligible voters have left Zambia for greener pastures since 2010 and have no intentions of returning just to vote. From all eligible voters not all are interested in voting or will vote. It is evidently that not even registered voters cast their vote on election day. All the Minister is saying is that no new constitution.

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  12. Clever argument from the PF government to maintain the statusquo; that is all it is.
    I want to believe that where there is a will, there is a way. The Constitution that we gave ourselves some time back can not stand in our way when we have decided that in it is no longer relevant to the our current governance environment. The people of Zambia decide what constitutions they want, and, when that decision has been made, the current constitution can not stand in their way to a new and acceptable constitution.

    We may have to tell our government via the overused phrase; “think outside the box”.

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    • people will turn out in great numbers as long there will be no pangas and violence.It is violence during election campaigns which produce aparthy during voting,but with a referendum a don’t see any apathy as long as sensitization is done vigorous by govt,NGOs.Churches,CBOs,Unions,societies,campanies,opposition,Grand coalition,schools and even interested international organisations.IT IS THE CONDUCT AND VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR OF PF(Panga Family)CADRES WHICH SCARES PEOPLE AND BRING ABOUT APARTHY.

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  13. People opposing kambwili just Google Zambian draft constitution and educate yourselves. Kambwili can not out smart every one here but he has studied both the constitution and the scenario on the ground. The man is very right on this one. Don’t just critize for the sake of it.

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  14. Clever argument from the PF government to maintain the statusquo; that is all it is.
    I want to believe that where there is a will, there is a way. The Constitution that we gave ourselves some time back can not stand in our way when we have decided that in it is no longer relevant to the our current governance environment. The people of Zambia decide what constitutions they want, and, when that decision has been made, the current constitution can not stand in their way to a new and acceptable constitution.

    We may have to tell our government via the overused phrase; ” to think outside the box”.

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  15. although i am one of those people who want the constitution like yesterday, reality is that we cannot go for both referendum now and elections 2016. we need to exhaustively discuss all the outstanding issues meanwhile we can pass those articles where the consensus is common. lets not table the issues that will cause the parliament to vote on party lines only those where we are all agreed. all those issues that require repealing the bill of rights can hang on for now

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  16. THIS WAS ALSO SAID BY NTEWEWE PRESIDENT OF YALI ON SUNDAY ON ZNBC. THIS POINT IS VERY VALID. PEOPLE SHOULD NOT TALK WITHOUT THINKING. THE CONSTITUTION SAYS IN A REFERENDUM, AT LEAST 50% OF PERSONS ENTITLED TO BE REGISTERED AS VOTERS MUST TAKE PART ” not less than fifty per cent of persons entitled to be registered as voters “. TO ME THIS IS A VERY GENUINE CONCERN. THE DRAFTERS OF THE CURRENT CONSTITUTION SET A VERY HIGH BAR OR REQUIREMENT. WITH THE APATHY WE HAVE SEEN IN THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, THIS WILL NOT BE ATTAINABLE. WITH 0VER 5 MILLION REGISTERED VOTERS WE STILL FAILED TO REACH 50%. WHAT IF YOU INCLUDE THOSE WHO ARE NOT REGISTERED BUT ARE ENTITLED TO VOTE? ARE WE BEING HONEST? OR WE CAN DO TRIAL AND ERROR.

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    • What is your advice? Are you saying we have to live with the current Constitution into eternity even when we have realised the need to better it because we initially made a quorum mistake? Kambwili has demonstrated that even during change government election in the recent past did not a attract sufficient voters required for a successful referendum. So what is next? We cannot hope that 2016 will be different; what if it is the same trend?

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  17. Intelligence is very rare. An emotional assessment of such a serious issue may not help this country. Kambwili may not have the kind of personality traits you may like, but this time around he is undeniably spot on.
    Keep the fire burning Kambwili….

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  18. this Grand coalition organisation is just an attention seeker, Kambwili please dont waste time to respond to such childish sentiments by this Broke priest who only want to earn an allowance out of a referendum.,the role of a preacher is on the pulpit, its like this father chiti has diverted his attention from his calling to governance issues. PF, you will give us a proper constitution in your own time please dont let anyone push you, afterall you are winners of next year’s election with or without this documnt.

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  19. I think most of the voter apathy is as a result of relocation. If the referendum does not need one to vote from the polling station one registered as a voter then the referendum can be a success.

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  20. WE DONT WANT A SITUATION WHERE HH CRIES AGAIN THAT THE REFERENDUM WAS STOLEN WHEN ONLY LESS THAN 50% OF EXPECTED VOTERS TAKE PART.

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  21. I propose the referendum be done at the same time as the 2016 elections and clear cut timeframe on the implementation be agreed upon with all stakeholder regardless of the winner of the 2016 election.
    Having a referendum, between now and 2016 election is clearly tedious and serves no good purpose.

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  22. Apathy or no apathy the referendum can be done from those who have turned up. Stop looking for excuses. You just want to exploit the situation for 2016 because it favours you

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  23. The epitome of rigidity, one Fr Leonard Chiti, of the so-called grand- coalition, is bound to rebut this, or any other explanation for that matter, about the attendant difficulties in the constitution-making process, for the simple reason that such explanation(s) is coming from PF government leadership, rather than from opposition entities.

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  24. NAREP have pulled out of the Grand Coalition and the USA have said they are not ready to fund the REFRENDUM

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  25. MR.LEOPARD ‘KAMBWILI PEPE KALE ‘YOUR BOSS EDGAR LUNGU IS PRESIDENT DESPITE THE APATHY DURING THE BY ELECION SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE REFERENDUM .FOLLOW WHAT WE THE PEOPLE WANT.MIND YOU DURING CAMPAINS A FEW WEEKS AGO YOUR BOSS PROMISED A NEW CONSTITUTION BEFORE 2016. ARE SAYING YOUR BSS LIED TO THE ZAMBIANS.

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  26. I totally agree with Hon. Kambwili. The constitution must be enacted this year as next year, parliament will dissolve by May and campaigns will start. Government must stand to give a direction as with time going so fast, we will find ourselves voting under the current constitution. There is no time for the referendum, it must have been done 3 years ago when there was ample time to educate the masses, three quarter who are illeterates. We have MPs to speak for the people, that is their role. Otherewise we will just be hearing opinions until elections come. We are fed up please. We need enactment NOW! Referendum after 2016, we have no time ba Grand Coalition, think again!

    Go go Kambili GO! We want things to move, not pamo pene ukulatalikafye. twanaka.

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  27. Hon Chishimba Kambwili you are right. Iam one of the Zambians that think that behind the aggression that you appear to posses there is a very genuine passion, compassion and desire to serve the people of Zambia with sincerity. Zambia needed King Cobra (I say this positively) may his soul rest in peace, to shake Zambia from mediocrity and show us we can change this country for the better faster than most think. Now we need to move in more open and transparent manner and you are the man fit for the job of telling us the truth. Just like H.E. EL openly told us his views on 50%+1 and running mate close.

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  28. FACT
    My brother Kwambili is no fool as enemies want to portray him. Wait when all these talkative fools are put in the corner. They will run out of what to say any more. EL is open and transparent but because it is coming from PF they oppose it. But NAREP is out of the Grand coalition, Farther Bwalya is out. Very soon others will follow especially that expected funder USA says no money will come looking at the time available. We will see what Father Chiti will say now. Very soon people will realize that after all Farther Bwalya is genuine. It is politics and trying to champion issues with hidden agendas that will make Zambia fail to get the new constitution

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  29. REFERENDUM – Apathy on one hand, huge costs on other.

    Critics lets be realistic.

    In my view its not every article in the constitution that need to be altered but critical articles such as running mate, social amenities perhaps 50%+1 presidential vote.

    Argue constructively…

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  30. REFERENDUM – Apathy on one hand, huge costs on other.

    Critics lets be realistic.

    In my view its not every article in the constitution that need to be altered but critical articles such as running mate, social amenities perhaps 50%+1 presidential vote.

    Argue constructively… save us your ignorance

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  31. Clear reason for apathy is because of persistent lies by politicians. Its, lies, lies, lies……all the time.

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    • During the last campaign who lied and promised the most between HH and EL. Clearly some of the things HH was promising like free education from primary to University are outright lies. I will say it again over free education, HH was lying.

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  32. Catch 22…! However, that is why there are always campaigns. It would be the responsibility of GRZ, NGOs, churches and all to get the message out so that we get more than the required number of registered voters participating in the rererandum! But the question of time is really critical and decisive… looks like we cannot have both a general election and a referandum by 2016… How sad..

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  33. Fr Chiti today is ASH WEDNESDAY can we please go to Church instead of politicking? You will still be paid your allowance dont worry

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  34. Dear bloggers, government should in future change the way they approach issues to do with ‘registered voters’. 2010 is a long way away and people have been dying from that time to date. All people who die have death certificates which are recorded with civic authorities. These figures should be collated and subtracted from the 2010 census total and bingo, we have a more realistic number to work with. If for example 200,000 people are dying in Zambia annually, do you not see that by 2015, the existing number of registered voters will reduce by 1,000,000 after a 5 year stretch? Food for thought.

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  35. Mr Propagand, without diving deep into your flawed analysis. I will just make a simple note.-it is the duty of government to sensitize and educate the people of Zambia on the importance of the new constitution and encourage them to turn outfor the referendum. Apathy in any form is a failure of incumbency. So for the PF to use this excuse is actually an admission of failure. To the people all we can say is We told you so!

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  36. There are a lot of Zambians who comment on things they do not understand. Kambwili is spot on on this one. Conducting this referendum now will be a waste of time since we will not meet the number of voters required to have it qualified(more than 50% of eligible voters, not registered.
    If people are serious we need to accept the offer by the president and amend all other parts that include; 50+1, running met, elections date etc. Only leave that dealing with bill of rights to the referendum which can be done later.
    Most people commenting here do not understand a thing, and I would bet my rear part they do not even know what the bill of rights is all about. There is too much ignorance in this country. God help us.

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  37. Just tell the Grand Coalition to list what they think should be included in the constitution.

    And suppose people say NO through the referendum what next.

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    • Back to the square one. But, it will be PEOPLE decision, not decision by elected officials. Do you see difference?

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  38. This is the very first time that Kambwili’s said somethng sensible..congrats…you av to talk abt 50 percent+1 as well, it doesnt make sense…

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  39. This is the very first time that Kambwili’s said somethng sensible..congrats…you av to talk abt 50 percent+1 as well, it doesnt make sense neither

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  40. Hon Kambwili has done his homework on this one. Don’t politicise this issue, be realistic. Government does neither have money nor time for the referendum before 2016. If grand coalition wants to bulldoze the govt on this one, they will be on the losing end. Its about compromise and govt should be commended for having shown the willingness to consider partial amendment which would see the 50+1, presidential running mate from among other issues being put in the current mother law………

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    • You are wrong on at least two accounts:
      Firstly, donor countries have already expressed their willingness to finance referendum;
      Second, on the issue of “bulldozing”, it is majority of PEOPLE of Zambia which are asking for new constitution. That is called DEMOCRACY and not “bulldozing”.

      What next from your side, suspending next General Election because all money was spent on paying political debits?

      As to be on the “loosing end”, we are already there. Look around and see 50 years of “achievements” created by successive “democratic governments”.

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  41. It is a festival of political indigestion. Where else, if not in Zambia, can one expect to find this kind of constipated thinking?

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  42. bakambwili you’re right.We can’t vote when it comes to referendum.If they want it let them wait for 2016 elections otherwise no constitution.They should think these crazy NGOs.What we need in Zambia is just to amend some clauses of the constitution.America jst amend when it suites.

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    • But Zambia, unfortunately, is not America.

      50 years and God knows how many billions dollars wasted and you pillock have courage to make comparison with America?

      Why not make comparison with Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, DRC, Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe……….? Your “equals” for “comparison” are not USA, UK, EU but above bunch of greedy crooked thieving autocrats.

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  43. Hope 4 Better, it turns out that it is you who should avoid embarrassing yourself, for the Hon minister is on solid ground. Read the constitution for yourself, the minister has even quoted the relevant article so that lazy people like you do not have too much to read.

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  44. A constitution is a very important document and therefore should not be easily changed by anyone or government at will. That is why the framers put in the provision of a referendum and the bill of rights which makes the exercise difficult and expensive.
    It is sad that the Grand Coalition think in their mouths rather than in their heads. I would think that they know the answer but want to live in denial as a way of putting pressure on the government.
    Kambwili is totally right the referendum must be co-joined to the presidential, parliamentary and general Elections at which stage everyone voting will be accorded a chance to exercise their right to participate. If the overall turn out does not meet the 50% thresh hold then its null and void without loosing much.

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  45. You people we told you to vote wisely but u ignored. Edgar Lungu refused to sign as a way of commitin himsef to the new constitution as he hates the constitution.

    Foget about the new constitution. In 2016, expect more lies by the PF on the New Constitution. Just to cheat you that he is making a new constitution.

    Please dear Zambians, wake up.

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  46. Honorable Kambwili is actually turning out to be a good information minister and chief government spokesperson after all.
    I think the man was misplaced in his previous ministerial roles.

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  47. Vicious circle is the state of affairs in our nation.
    Progress in constitution and democratic paradigm is eluding Zambians. Due to poor leadership Zambia is plunged into a situation of attempting to resolve one problem creating a new problem that recreates the original one.
    Deception and greed is at the core of this national quagmire.

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  48. Remove the 50% +1 and running mate from the new constitution!!!we do not need that in Zambia-period!!THEN TO YOU CRY BABIES IN UPND,NOTE THAT EVEN 2016 UNDER A NEW CONSTITUTION YOUR TRIBAL HH WILL STILL LOSE!!HE CANT WIN BY WINNING ONLY IN 3 PROVINCES!!!NOTE THAT WITH NEGA NEGA FORMULA AND HIGH TURN OUT IN PF STRONGHOLDS,HH WONT BE NEAR PF!!!PLUS NORTH WESTERN AND WESTERN PROVINCIES MAY GIVE PF MORE VOTES DUE TO EDGAR LUNGU’S WISE APPOINTMENTS OF HIS CABINET AND MORE DEVELOPMENTAL PROJECTS BEING DONE THERE!!note:Inonge Wina is veep,Michael Kaingu and Christabel Ngimbu are full cabinet ministers!!!HOPE PF WILL PAY FARMERS EARLY IN 2016,I CANT SEE EDGAR LUNGU BEING DEFEATED BY THE OPPOSITION-NEVER!!!

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  49. Kambwili has spoken sense. He clearly understands governments financial responsibilities and I think he wants to take a leaf from the civilized world where contentious issues are only dealt with during a general election. Apathy maybe a lame excuse, this government simply does not have any funds for a referendum. People need to be practical. Even in the civilized world, issues such as gay marriage, or medical marijuana, have been decided in such fashion. If there are issues we can agree on, certainly let them be enacted through parliament, and the rest during a general election. Save money and time. I don’t think anyone of us will eat 50+1, dual citizenship, veep running mate e.c.t. Government realizes that such fruitless exercises don’t take us anywhere. We need roads, medicine, and…

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  50. The country without a good constitution simply give politicians freedom to manipulate issues without accountability.The good constitution translates into good governance which results in effective use of resources.Wake up Zambia do not be lied to by SHREK

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  51. Zambia’ s political conmen who have amassed wealth through cheating the nation on very important issues which they cannot implement. Just less than a month ago, the same hippo and Chakolwa ECL were going round the country telling people that the new constitution was going to be their priority. Alas, today the language has changed and they are speaking of something different which was not in their tone when they were seeking re-election. What is the real problem in Zambia kanshi mwe bantu, for how long are we going to be cheated by the same characters who claim to be humble and working for the people ? ala, kuti wapapa, nembwa shilesumisha ati cilifye bwino.

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    • Please no insults just debate. For your information Zambians voted (Refrendum) for the one party state which they came to regret later. As for those talking about other people not having education, I would advise them to look at some of the greatest inventions which were created by people who had no university education atall. This is what brings Zambia down. Looking down at other people even bringing rubbish like EIZ so that you dont promote those who are not members no matter how good they may be at work. Even if Kambwili has no education, the people of Roan have come to appreciate him. Most of our graduates are only good in talking about which university they attended without performing. No wonder ZCCM failed- no practical demonstration

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    • You have failed to get my point so you want to engage me in insults, please go a head and people will tell the difference. You have failed to refer to a single point that I have raised. Am sure you havent even read the constitution you are just opposing because its Kambwili talking. If it was Mweetwa you were going to support. How do you kno I am a father?

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  52. @ HIPPO CHISHIMBA KAMBWILI We have people who helped found Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, plenty of other successful businesses and enterprises across this country who did the exact same sort of thing I did, I’ve got two sons in college. I hope they finish, I expect that. … We value college for those who want to pursue a career, but in the end you don’t have to have that.” QUOTE FROM ONE AMERICAN. SO WE ZAMBIANS WITH DEGREES WHAT HAVE WE DONE FOR OUR COUNTRY APART FROM BOASTING- ZERO – ALL WE WANT ARE FAT SALARIES FOR LITTLE OR NO WORK ATALL

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    • @ Ndaje Khaks… I CANT BELIEVE THE LEVEL OF IDYOCY U ARE EXHIBITING …EVEN BEING A FATHER HASN’T HELPED YOU ANY BIT..UPGRADE YOU IQ, THEN COME BLOG AGAIN..MUNYELO WAKO!

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  53. @ SHREK NECKLESS KAMBWILI -You have failed to get my point so you want to engage me in insults, please go a head and people will tell the difference. You have failed to refer to a single point that I have raised. Am sure you havent even read the constitution you are just opposing because its Kambwili talking. If it was Mweetwa you were going to support. How do you kno I am a father?

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  54. @ 8.2 Zedman,

    When deciding whether to start off with this faulty vehicle or not, I am wondering whether it matters who made the vehicle to be in a bad state.
    Even if the guy who damaged vehicle is the one telling you that it wont do the journey, will you tell him, ‘I will start off, after all it is you who damaged the vehicle’? So you start off because the driver who told you about the state of the vehicle is the one damaged it, and you force him to drive you to Livingstone; but before Mazabuka it breaks down completely and irretrievably causing the engine to even be irreparable, and you both get stranded. Will you be proud of your decision?

    Zambia would have been much better that what it is, but instead of solving problems people have always looked for who to blame.

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  55. In fact, for anyone who reads this article and choses to be serious with issues will agree that the issues raised are of an obvious nature.
    There is no much need to even break the head when there are other matters that require much thought.
    This is like the soccer scenario now; Zambia National Team (Chipolopolo) was participating in the Africa cup last month, and everyone was aware and passionately committed to following the games. Now, Zambia National Team (under -17) is again participating in the Africa Cup, but may people are not even aware of the games going on – some not even knowing that there is Africa Cup take place at the moment (hopefully you know).
    The contrast between the 2 Africa cups is exactly like that between an election (Chipolopolo) and a referendum (under-17).

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  56. Surprisingly, the USA Ambassador to Zambia has agreed with Chishimba Kambwili. He said the samething on ZNBC News. That is why he suggested having the referendum at the same time as the 2016 general Elections

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  57. @YANGU : Spot on- He said Donor are not ready fund the Referundum so soon afeter the Presidential Elections

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    • As far as I know, even as I post this blog, Zambia has a constitution and we have had peaceful elections in the whole world under the current constitution.
      If its money the NGOs want to milk from the donors, let them be forthright about instead of sniffing here and there.

      I challenge Father Chilinda and his cohorts to tell Zambians the issues the “Grant Coalition” want amended in the current constitution, its page number, the flaws in it and what the expected outcome would be if the changes were effected. Lets be serious. We definitely need a constitution which is not vague. Be elaborate and specific about it and maybe people will take these NGOs a little bit more serious. As it is, we see it as a way supporting hungry stomachs.

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  58. The reasons make sense UNTIL you realize that apathy is symptomatic and not the actual problem. Here are two simple ones:
    1. Voting is not a privilege, I believe everyone eligible to do so must vote. Yet by the nature of the voters’ roll structure those who cannot be where they registered are disenfranchised.
    2. Those who registered as voters at a certain period and did not re-register or update on the roll are deemed ineligible.
    3. Logistical difficulties that are self-inflicted have kept us with an archaic system that is so obsolete it cannot be amended.
    SOLUTION: Against all odds, Namibia has gone the same path as India in ensuring they utilize technology to address just about ALL of the reasons why an election should be an issue. Let’s use technology!!! Mwabantu pilizi!!!…

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    • Let our cooperating partners fund the improvement in the process of voting and NOT the referendum per se. Let us kill the spider that spins the web and stop clearing the cobwebs each time they are spun.

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  59. I really wonder why Zambians want to argue just for the sake of arguing. At times I am tempted to think common sense and reason has ceased among many Zambians. Have we read the Minister’s point carefully and understood before responding?

    Let us be part of the solution and not the problem. This constitution matter requires every Zambian to find every possible way that will deliver a people driven constitution without leaving Zambia bankrupt. Does it mean referendum is the only possible way a people driven constitution can be delivered on this earth.

    Remember I have always said responding using insults in a sign of cowardice. Just answer me using palatable language!

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  60. Its easy to tell which party one belongs to just by the way comments are made.

    One party has supporters who are full of abusive language. Do we mean we can not drive our point without insulting. God have mercy on us!! Even if we claim that we are better, much is left to be desired!!

    Please let us avoid insults!

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  61. Ati Grand Coalition”, what is grand about this NGO full of thieves? Who appointed them? PF should not allow money meant for development to be used of a useless document which no one even reads.

    If people were honesty, the same NGOs could have used its huge resources they solicit from the donors to sensitize the citizenry on the importance of the “new” constitution and what are contentious issues are. In the absence of this, the Government is NOT at fault. We don’t want a HALF BAKED supreme law of the land to be the basis of our governance system.

    By the way, were is the relevance of LAZ if it cant give proper guidance on the constitution?

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  62. I have a few observations to make on Honoroble Kambwili’s appeal.

    1. Has honorable Kambwili interogated the reasons for voter apathy? if not, some of the reasons are that some people have died while others have shifted to other areas. As for 2015, the timing also was a contributing factor.
    2. Is honorable Kambwili telling us that there will be no new voter registration for 2016 elections? If there will be, some of the reasons highlighted above will not apply as the register would have been updated with civic conscious people who would therefore vote during a referendum.
    3. why cant we combine the voter register update with sensistisation of the pople on the need for the referendum?

    4. Is Honorable Kambwili pre-empting the plan of how 2016 elections will be done based on current…

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  63. The sad thing is that most of us voters voted in order to get a new Constitution.

    I guess no donchi kudabwa.
    Ifintu na fi Lungula.

    #OneZambia

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  64. The law of the land cannot be bought, what the minister is saying is taking the pragmatic stance on the constitution making process because this issue has been the Kilimanjaro of Zambia too difficulty to climb. We should not only take the academic, theoretical passiveness in the process but also the pragmatic fastness considering time frame, the economic status of the country, and the already massive infrastructural development going on around as a result of the ambitious government found in the PF. Your negative comments about the minister shows that you are all educated from the exam leakage infested era which rushed you into the varsity.

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