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Alba Iulia
Friday, February 21, 2020

Grand Coalition welcomes Cabinet’s approval of the introduction of the Referendum Bill

Headlines Grand Coalition welcomes Cabinet’s approval of the introduction of the Referendum ...

Grand Coalition
Grand Coalition

THE Grand Coalition on the campaign for a people-driven constitution and other stakeholders have welcomed Cabinet’s approval of the introduction of the Referendum (Amendment) Bill of 2015 to bring it in conformity with the constitution on the eligibility criterion for voting in a national referendum.

Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) and the United Front for Democracy (UFD) have also welcomed the development.

Grand Coalition chairperson Leonard Chiti said in an interview yesterday that the introduction of the Referendum (Amendment) Bill 2015 is long overdue and a step in the right direction.

He said the Grand Coalition would have loved the amendment of the Referendum Act to be done in a more systematic way.

Fr Chiti also said the Grand Coalition wants Government to provide a clear road-map, time-line and details of the contents of the Referendum (Amendment) Bill 2015

“We are looking forward to the publication of the Bill so that we see the details, but we must commend Government because it is a step in the right direction,” Fr Chiti said.

And CSPR executive director Kryticous Nshindano said on ‘Let the people talk’ programme on Radio Phoenix yesterday that this is what civil society has been advocating but that there is a lot of work yet to be done.

YALI president Andrew Ntewewe said on the same programme that the move is a progressive one which will require adequate sensitisation.

“People need to be sensitised on this development so that they can participate in the referendum and make it a success,” Mr Ntewewe said.

And UFD, an alliance of five opposition political parties, had urged members of Parliament to support the Bill when it is tabled in the House.

Speaking on behalf of the alliance, Christian Democratic Party president Dan Pule told a press briefing yesterday that UFD will support Government’s road-map in the constitution-making process.

Dr Pule urged Government to take advantage of the goodwill and support from the opposition and church to expedite the publication of the Bill.

“We appeal to parties in Parliament to demonstrate patriotism and support the bill to ensure amendments are enacted by parliament,” he said.

He said UFD has submitted its observations and recommendations to minister of Justice Ngosa Simbyakula.

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  1. A step in the right direction in indeed. Let’s give credit where it is due bane …not ati fyoto-fyoto-pono-pono lyonse!

  2. If people are united and know exactly what they want, then it will be smooth ridng for all of us. PF has a lot of innetia for it knows that tough time lies ahead of them. We want this country to be a country for all not a country for the uncivilised and uneducated, or the majority illiliterates. We want even the educated from the other parts of the country, especially the marginalised from those provinces we know to feel part of Zambia. This is not a country only for the thieves, who tend to be ruling this country. These thieves can learn a lot from the civilised people from the provinces we already know.

  3. Eureca! The showdown is over. The Referendum Amendment will create space for a people driven Constitution. Negotiations and arguments can lead to solutions acceptable to the vast majority of the people. It was wrong for Government to create the impression that the Executive knows everything. It is a wise move to march forward without friction, tension, acrimony, etc.

  4. Reading this article about the GC reaction I was so encouraged that we are making progress towards building consensus on this issue. Some comments above in reaction to the article are quite disheartening however. Why do some of us Zambians find it hard to applaud a good gesture as the GC has done. As far as I’m aware no one requested GRZ to make this amendment. Some are quick instead to call GRZ as a govt of illiterates or that GRZ thinks it knows everything! Are illiterates not human beings! Only GRZ can provide leadership in this Constitutional process. It can’t be an NGO or opposition. That is why there is 1 GRZ @ a time. On the Constitution at least let us encourage GRZ to facilitate for its adoption. It is our Constitution & not PF’s. It is that important for the country. GOD BLESS

  5. @the chosen one,
    qoute’as far as am aware nobody requested to make these amendments’the govt yielded bcz of pressure from ngos and opposition and level headed zambians.so this is long overdue.

    • @planso, I know you are looking for a loser & a winner so far to determine bragging rights, but that is not what this constitutional process should be about. We will all remain losers as Zambians as long as this remains our focus. MMD, PF, NAREP, UPND, etc will come & go while we play this game & remain with no new Constitution for another 50yrs. No, I have not come a publicised specific request from any one for this amendment GRZ is proposing. Mind you GRZ says it still wants to undertake a referendum next year & it w’d be a futile exercise if it sets up a process to fail because of this complication its proposing to resolve. So my friend, I’m urging you to shift your focus to the importance of this constitutional process & the benefits Zambians will receive if we manage to pull it off

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