THE Non-Governmental Organisation’s Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has urged political parties to educate their supporters on the referendum and Bill of Rights instead of just telling them to vote No or YES.
All citizens who have the National Registration Cards will be voting for the Referendum on August 11 this year.
The gazetted Referendum question is: Do you agree to the amendment to the Constitution to enhance the Bill of Rights contained in Part III of the Constitution of Zambia and to repeal and replace Article 79 of the Constitution of Zambia?
NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale said there was need for political parties to sensitise citizens on the Referendum and Bill of Rights so that they make understand the documents and make informed decisions as they vote.
Ms Mwale noted that most political parties were currently either telling the electorates to vote for YES or No instead of sensitising them on the process of the referendum and the Bill of Rights.
She was speaking in Livingstone yesterday at Warm Harbour Hotel during a community sensitisation on the referendum and Bill of Rights.
NGOCC has embarked on community campaigns on the referendum and Bill of Rights in various parts of the country.
“We have noted that political parties are telling their electorates to either vote YES or No to the referendum question.
“This is not a political issue but a national issue and hence political parties should educate their members on the referendum process and Article 70 of the Constitution so that they make informed decisions,” she said.
Ms Mwale said the referendum and the Bill of Rights were progressive document but the sensitisation part was not adequate and left to few stakeholders.
She said there were technical issues which needed to be explained to citizens in both urban and rural areas before voting on the referendum.
A Livingstone-based community leader, Susiku Mwanangombe, said a Yes Vote to the referendum Question and the Bill of Rights would enable many vulnerable children to access education and enjoy other right.
Ms Mwanangombe, who is the coordinator for the Tutalike Life Begins organisation for disadvantaged children and old people in Ngwenya Township, however noted that the atmosphere in which the referendum vote would be conducted was not conducive to achieve its intended purpose.