Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) President Dr Nevers Mumba has said that the method selected by the Patriotic Front government for the constitution making process is the most realistic and cost-effective, bearing in mind the amount of time available before the 2016 Tripartite Elections.
Dr. Mumba declared that the selected process is the official MMD position and presented by himself during the Presidential Debates held at the Mulungushi Conference Center in the run-up to the January 2015 Presidential By-Election.
He said the reality, which some sections of society are not fully cognizant of, is that there is not enough time to fully prepare for a Referendum before the 2016 Elections. This would require a national population census and a time-consuming mass sensitization programme in all 150 Constituencies with complex logistics. A Referendum is necessary to enact the current draft constitution because of amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.
Dr Mumba further said that government is currently running a budget deficit and is unlikely to be able to fund a Referendum as desired by certain quarters. He said sourcing funding from donors is also going to be a challenge as the biggest donor, the United States government, has already ruled themselves out. Other donors may be more inclined to fund more important developmental projects.