The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is pleased with Government announcement that the Referendum will be held in 2016.
YALI governance advisor Isaac Mwanza said, “We believe that Government has taken time to study what all citizens, stakeholders and interest groups have been saying on a matter of holding a successful referendum and that it will put in place measures that will provide for holding of a successful referendum in which 50 per cent of persons entitled to be registered will turn up and vote.”
Mr Mwanza said YALI now calls on Government to begin thinking of proposals by some citizens to conduct a Census using the Digital system as opposed to the current situation where data on Zambians and non – Zambians is contained in manual systems maintained by different institutions such the Department of National Registration, Electoral Commission of Zambia and Immigration Department with Central Statistical Office not having the actual personal details of persons linked to their data.
“As an organisation we implore President Edgar Lungu and his administration to emulate the Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta, who on Wednesday last week, launched the Integrated Population Registration System ( IPRS), which allows access to an individual’s entire registration and identification records using a single personal identification number,” he said.
In preparation of either a sample or full population census to determine the threshold required in the Referendum on the Constitution, we seriously call on Government to consider using the Digital means of capturing information that will ensure all State Agencies such as ECZ, NRC Department and CSO have access and huge volumes of data of a person such as birth dates and certificates, national identity cards, passports at the click of a button.
YALI believes that Zambian has qualified young people who can transform the way we collect information on the population using IT solutions that will benefit the nation and all State agencies in the long run. We are aware that the Ministry of Justice, has received a proposal to use the IT solution in conducting the Census in readiness for the Referendum. We therefore call upon the Ministry to show leadership in adopting new technologies and methods in achieving this important national exercise.