THE Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) has urged Zambians to give a yes vote to the referendum on 11 August.
JCTR director Leonard Chiti said the issue of the referendum was not a partisan but national issue that needed concerted efforts from all stakeholders regardless of one’s religious or political affiliation.
Fr Chiti said politicians had an opportunity of telling the people the truth regarding the referendum instead of them giving conflicting information on the exercise.
Fr Chiti was speaking during a stakeholder’s workshop on the referendum and elections at Livingstone Lodge in Livingstone yesterday.
He said the referendum exercise has an opportunity of building a platform for a better Zambia if it succeeded.
“My appeal is that this is not a partisan issue, but a national issue that is very progressive and for the better future of the generation to come. We started advocating for a new constitution sometime back and some of the politicians who are against the referendum now, were part of the exercise but now we are surprised that they have changed their stance.
“Some of the rights that are being proposed in the bill of rights are very cardinal to the development of the nation but it is sad that here in Southern Province some politicians are telling people to ignore the referendum and to our surprise, they are not explaining why people should ignore it,”Fr Chiti said.
He called on stakeholders to go flat out and sensitise people to vote yes in the referendum.
The JCTR director also appealed to political parties to engage in issue based before the 11 August general elections.
“Politicians should realise that people want to hear their agenda for the country and not personal attacks. Am happy with what I have seen in Livingstone, campaigns are peaceful and political parties are able to co-exist, all districts need to emulate the atmosphere in Livingstone,” he said.