The United Party for National Development (UPND) says Zambians should not get excited by Cabinet’s resolution to hold the referendum on the new constitution next year along the general elections.
UPND Deputy Spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo has told QFM News by telephone that the PF is known for not fulfilling promises therefore people should not get excited to avoid being disappointed.
Mr. Lifwekelo says the UPND has welcomed the announcement by the government to hold a referendum next year, stating that it will be a plus for them if they can enact a new constitution.
He however says it will be disappointing if the country will not hold the 2016 General Elections under the new constitution because Zambians needed a new constitution like yesterday.
Mr. Lifwekelo says it is easier for the PF to promise to amend the Referendum Act and subsequently hold a referendum but fears that they might not fulfill that promise.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz says holding a referendum alongside an election is the cost effective way.
Speaking during a lecture on “US- Zambia partnership and the way forward” at the University of Zambia (UNZA) today, Ambassador Schultz says whenever Zambia decides to hold the planned referendum, the United States might be able to help fund the process.
And Ambassador Schultz says Zambia has had a solid record of economic growth over the past ten years partly as of result of a global boom in commodities.
He says the high interest rates in turn are one of the biggest obstacles to maintaining and accelerating Zambia’s growth.
He notes that commodity prices started to fall at the same time that government spending began to increase.
Ambassador Schultz adds that the fuel shortages and the mining tax impasse coupled by the depreciating currency are all manifestations of the increasingly difficult fiscal situation.
He stresses that if Zambia is to achieve its enormous economic potential, the government needs to reduce spending thereby reducing domestic interest rates and allowing the private sector to drive the economy.
Ambassador Schultz further states that Zambia needs to recommit to private sector driven growth as well as commit to more open and transparent policy making if the economy has to continue thriving.
And UNZA Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Enala Tembo says Zambia has benefited a lot from the various technical and financial support programmes and projects extended through the people of the United States of America.
And Political Scientist Alex Ng’oma has encouraged all stakeholders to support the holding of the referendum on the constitution alongside the 2016 General elections saying it is cost effective.
Dr. Ng’oma has told QFM News in a telephone interview that the announcement by government should motivate the opposition because it’s a positive move.
He says it is now up to the relevant stakeholders to support the government so that the country can have a new constitution by next year.
He says there is need for unity of purpose among political players stating that the process requires all stakeholders to be united.
Dr. Ng’oma has since advised the Zambian people to be patient with the government over the constitution making process considering the political will they have shown in delivering the new constitution.