The template of the Referendum ballot paper for the referendum voting in the August 2016 elections.
The template of the Referendum ballot paper for the referendum voting
in the August 2016 elections.

The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) says the set question for the August referendum casts a cloud over the clarity of the intent.
The CCZ said that the symbols being used of an eye and ear to represent the Yes and No referendum vote respectively have further complicated the question.
CCZ president Alfred Kalembo said the Council has established that this confusion is compounded by the fact that the referendum is being held alongside the August general elections.Therefore the CCZ is of the view that the referendum can be deferred to a later date after the elections so that it is detached from mainline politics.This is in order for the referendum to stand out as a national issue in a way that unifies people devoid of partisanship and political affiliations divide

Below is the full press release

The leaders of the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) recently held a consultative meeting in Lusaka to consider the issues surrounding the 2016 Referendum and would like to state the following.
We believe that a referendum should be a celebration of an agreement made by consensus on the issue at hand, in this case the Bill of Rights through a well established and agreed process by those to whom the matter is being referred, the Zambian people.
The Church continues to lament over the flawed processes leading to both the amendment of the national constitution and its assent to, by President Edgar Lungu in January and now the proposed referendum to be held alongside the forth-coming August 11, General Elections. We believe that both processes are breached and do not meet the threshold of a people’s popular agreement. It is regrettable that government as usual bulldozed their way through the constitution making process and made it their own process leaving behind the proprietors of the fundamental law of the land who are the citizens.

The Council appreciates that most of the content of the proposed Bill of Right is what the Zambian people would like to see entrenched in the law, however, we have a conviction that much remains to be done before a truly befitting constitution is framed, a constitution which will not be based on particular biases but on the principles of legitimacy, credibility without compromising the integrity and effectiveness of the process. We cannot over emphasise, like we have consistently stated, that the process of adopting the constitution is just as important as its substance.

It is our observation throughout the years, that Zambians have accepted little ‘favours’ from all successive governments on the constitution making process for far too long. We look forward to a time when Zambians will be respected for what they really are; good people, patient, long suffering, however, this should not be taken for granted.

CCZ notes that the formulation of the referendum question has cast a cloud over the clarity of the intent. The symbols being used which are an eye and ear have further complicated the question. This confusion is compounded by the fact that the referendum is being held along side the General Elections, which are taking place under a new political system.

Considering the above, CCZ suggests that it is not too late to separate the two important processes. The referendum to be deferred to a later date after the elections so that it is detached from mainline politics in order for it to stand out as a national issue in a way that unifies people, devoid of partisanship and political affiliations divide. The separation of the two will allow Zambians to concentrate on one single issue at a given time. The entrenchment of the Bill of Rights must be divorced completely from a partisan election because at the moment it is difficult to separate the two issues. The question of lack of funds to hold a Referendum separately is a weak argument which cannot be rationally justify.

CCZ has noted from the commentaries from our streets how people are going to vote on partisan basis and that in itself renders the whole Referendum exercise ineffective. We see a situation where the constitution making process will go back to the drawing board yet again, a bad situation which could be avoided by paying attention to the process.

Bishop Dr Alfred Kalembo
PRESIDENT-COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN ZAMBIA (CCZ)

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26 COMMENTS

  1. YES, THE REFERENDUM MUST BE DEFERRED. THERE IS THIS BLOOD THIRSTY VAMPIRE AT IT AGAIN. THE INNOCENT BLOOD OF OUR CHILDREN IS DRIPPING IN THE HANDS OF THIS SATANIST AND JIHADIST MOSLEM EDGAR CHAKOLWA LUNGU. EDGAR LUNGU HAS PLANTED A VERY UGLY KILLING CULTURE IN OUR COUNTRY WHICH WILL BE DIFFICULT TO ELIMINATE, ESPECIALLY IF LUNGU IS ALLOWED TO REMAIN IN POWER AFTER 11 AUGUST. THIS LOOTER AND CRIMINAL LUNGU IS A SERIOUS CURSE TO ZAMBIA. ZAMBIA SHALL NOT PROSPER, AS LONG AS EDGAR LUNGU REMAINS PRESIDENT OF ZAMBIA. LET US ALL JOIN HANDS AND VOTE FOR CHANGE, VOTE FOR HH AND THE UPND TEAM.THE POLICE OFFICER WHO PULLED THE TRIGGER SHOULD BE DISMISSED FROM DUTY IMMEDIATELY AND SHOULD BE CHARGED FOR MURDER. WHETHER POLICE OR NOT, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO KILL INNOCENT CITIZENS.

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    • The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) should have no credence and political platform anywhere.

      Alfred Kalembo ,should join a party instead of hiding behind that blanket.

      Thanks

      BB2014

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    • The main reason for the referendum held alongside the general elections is to bring confusion.

      In the midst of confusion, ECZ will go flat out rigging the Presidential results for ECL.

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    • @saulosi, I didn’t know you are also divided in PF.
      Ballots have already been printed by your Dubai printer. So that cost is already paid for. Shipping is paid. Now you will have to dump or burn ballots at another cost.
      PF government by Simbikula & Edgar is costly.

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  2. Does it mean that the effectiveness of a constitution depends on how it is adopted, referendum or not….. I thought what really matters is the content and how those in power respect and interpret it. our problem in Zambia is not the lack of a constitution, it is just that those in power do not respect it. we can have the most well written document containing the laws adopted through the most accepted referendum process ….but if those in charge do not follow and respect the same laws, we are doomed….. our current constitution is just as good as others in the world, the difference is that our friends respect their laws and our leaders do not….. so we keep wanting to change it…. and have in the process wasted lots of money and enriched certain individuals who have sat in these…

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  3. AM NOT FOR THAT IDEA, WHEN WILL BE THE IDEAL DATE, THE CCZ SHUD INSTEAD FOCUS ON SENSITIZING THE MASSES about wat this animal called referendum is all about. its not time to continue playing blame games here, lets get down to the ground and do the work otherwise this will not add any water as the referendum ballots have been printed and ECZ is ready to do the jobs….remeber there are people who have been against the new constitution and if there wer to form govt today, first the constitutions shall be squashed and dont even talk of the referendum bcoz its not known to them neither will u hear them talk abt it during their campaigns so am sorry ba CCZ there is no better time than this to do the referendum………..#ECL

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  4. Having read the proposed amendment, I shall vote “no” for various reasons which I can not outline here. But two main reasons are:
    1. The manner this complex matter is being conducted.
    2. Although many of the clauses are progressive, there is one which is a source of worry. The explicitly states that the Constitutional Court cannot adjudicate over certain (defined) matters in the Bill of Rights. That, in my opinion, is a serious misnomer.

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  5. Zambia is a blessed nation. We have a President who has out of principle & @ cost of reducing his & GRZ powers pushed for new Constitution & Bill of Rights. Yet there are few people out there against this positive constitutional development. How can a country have such defiant people that even refuse blessings? They were negative about the new Constitution but God gave it to us & it is working perfectly. Now they don’t want to see people enjoying enhanced rights & freedoms under the new Bill of Rights. But God who knows what is just & right for us will defeat them again. God Bless Zambia!

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  6. There is so much hate in the country and the coming election will be decided on how much one hates the other. It is for this reason that i support CCZ on their call to deffer the referendum. As it is now, UPND don’t like anything proposed by PF, good or bad and they will definitely vote the referendum down.

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    • And therein lies another problem. The issues regarding the referendum ought to be devoid of political inclination. The Bill of Rights is not a partisan issue. Unfortunately, and dangerously, it is perceived and promoted as “Yes” vote in support of PF, and “No” vote in support of Opposition.

      There is a lot of civic education required. And if the civic education is of the quality coming from organisations such as AVAP Zambia as depicted in a recent program on Hot FM’s the Hot issue, then we are doomed.

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  7. Now they start to speak up when the $3 million has exchanged hands…what is it with organisation in this country!!

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  8. It’s so sad that the once vibrant CCZ has a compromised leadership of the Secretary General and it’s President all because of being sympathisers of the known opposition party…hence their objectivity is highly impaired…

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  9. i support pf but i will not vote in the referendum because of the symbol used of the eye which has a meaning in the masonic world

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  10. Always wanting to have more and more this and that…! Zambians will never agree on something…! There will never be enough time for Zambians even if u gave them a decade of sensitization..! With some politicians foolishly advising their followers to vote no for the ref, no amount of sensitization will change the opposition ignorant followers..! Lets vote…!

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  11. Constitution is non partisan. It is there to Carter for everyone in this generation and the the next. Bill of rights if in place was going to avoid the the death of Mapenzi.

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  12. We need to seek God for direction otherwise our children will suffer. The politician are only interested in their pockets. We can continue vote for people who are selfish. The referendum document is poorly designed . Ask zambian if they understand what the referendum is all about, most people dont know.

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  13. I am surprised that most Zambians have not seen the main reason why PF is forcing people to vote in the referendum.1 parliament will have no power to change the law unless the referendum, meaning that Lungu will be able to do as he wish even when he has minority in parliament.2 To prolong time of realizing election results so that PF and Lungu rigs the election.

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  14. Bishop Kalembo its not enough to just yap yap you ard a reverend please, tell us how you will ensure that if held separately the referendum the required number og people will vote. Ala limo tuletontonkanya, muli ba reverend shikulu twa papata.

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  15. And we also want to be done with elections and continue with normal life, not “kontolola, kontolola” lyonse irritating noise. At least Dununa reverse kuti washanako wasansamukako.

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  16. Time was when CCZ was rational, remember Ndhlovu, etc? Now it’s a wing of opposition parties.

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  17. What are we replacing Article 79 with? Why are these politicians thinking that they will NEVER DIE??? Let’s leave a constitution that will not cause problems for succeeding generations. Look at the mess the so-called 2nd Amendment in the USA has caused its descendants. Do you want our future generations to gullibly defend something that keeps hurting them or causing them to lose their freedoms or cause anarchy in paradoxical fashion??

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  18. Useless CCZ. Get Lost. Scared that Edgar C Lungu has scored another first. Let Suzzane Matale know that the HH she supports will lose biog time again.

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