Vice-President Inonge Wina is hopeful that Zambians will know the modalities of the referendum by next week.
Speaking when she addressed Zambians living in the United Kingdom in London during a dinner that was organised in her honour by the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde at the Zambia House on Saturday,Mrs Wina told Zambians that the August elections will run alongside with the Referendum.
She said the referendum question was being formulated by the Electoral Commission of Zambia and the Ministry of Justice, and the question will determine whether the Bill of Rights will be included in the amended constitution.
“I believe that some of you have already received information on how these elections will be held including the fact that the Referendum will be part of the election process. It means that when Zambians vote they will vote for their President, they will vote for the running mate together with their President, they will vote for their Members of Parliament, they will vote for their councillors, they will also vote in the referendum. The referendum will be a “yes or no” question because in a referendum you are only asked whether you agree or not,” she said.
The Vice President said the Bill of Rights could not be passed with the amended constitution as the original constitution stipulated having a referendum in order to adopt the Bill of Rights.
She said it was not possible to set aside the referendum as the government could not hold two elections within a years due to financial constraints, therefore the decision to hold the referendum and elections simultaneously.
“We have to teach our people on the modalities of exercising their democratic duty, it will take time although, we only have few months to go but i hope by next week, the referendum question would have been dealt with and people will know, how they are going to respond to that issue,” she said.
And High Commissioner Chikonde called on Zambians in the UK to always engage the mission in efforts aimed at safeguarding Zambia’s interests in Britain.
Mr. Chikonde reported that the UK/Zambia Investment forum which Her Honour the Vice President officiated in London last year had continued to bear fruits as evidenced by UK dignitaries who had visited Zambia such as, the Lord mayor of London who visited with a business delegation, Baroness Lynda Chalker, the former minister who is currently Director of Africa matters to form linkages between UK and Zambian businesses, a 14 member delegation composing of six British Members of Parliament who participated in the 134th International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and six companies that registered and traveled to Zambia for the 5th edition of the Zambia International Investment forum (ZIIF) which ended last week.
“Your passion and dedication to our country under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu continues to inspires us all,” he said.