Grand coalition calls for fresh referendum

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Mrs Sarah Longwe during the press briefing
Mrs Sarah Longwe during the press briefing
Mrs Sarah Longwe during the press briefing

The Grand Coalition on the campaign for a people driven constitution in Zambia has called for a fresh stand-alone national referendum on the bill of rights to be held before the 2021 general elections.

ZANIS reports that Grand Coalition Chairperson Sarah Longwe said the coalition is concerned with the failed recent referendum that was held alongside the 2016 general elections.

The Grand Coalition said it is imperative that a fresh referendum is held before the 2021 general elections in order to enhance the civic rights of Zambians.

Ms. Longwe said that the national referendum is an important non-partisan issue which should be held separately as opposed to the way it was recently handled.

Addressing a press briefing in Lusaka today, Ms Longwe said that the expanded bill of rights should not be thrown away but revisited to conclude the constitution reform process.

Ms. Longwe has since urged government to quickly constitute an expert team to address some of the provisions which are not clear in the expanded bill of rights especially those negatively affecting women, children and people with disabilities.

She stated that government should also provide a clear roadmap for the holding of an all-inclusive fresh national referendum with a legal framework that will protect the content of the document.

Ms. Longwe further said there will be need for both government and the civil society to start sensitizing and educating the general citizenry on the provisions of the referendum act and the bill of rights.

She said the grand coalition has been in full support of the national referendum but was opposed to holding it alongside the 2016 general elections fearing that it may not achieve the intended purpose due to lack of consensus and inadequate sensitisation.

27 COMMENTS

  1. Ha ha ha ha!

    But we have already voted and followed your advice not to vote yes in the referendum.

    Stop messing around with us.

    • INE WONT THIS TIME AROUND COZ I VOTED “YES” IN THE JUST ENDED ELECTION. WE WANTED TO HELP YOU IMWE MWEBAMILANDU TOGETHER WITH YOUR UPND BUT YOU REFUSED SO LIVE WITH THE CRIES NOW.

    • These NGO advised to vote for NO just keep on celebrating your win and let those that chose PF celebrate. Its celebration time ladies not calling for chewing of more money.

    • These finished old women have no shame at all! For them it’s another opportunity to make more money! After campaigning for a No Vote you want the same process to start all over again? No wonder Zambia is in such a mess…! Go and look after your grand children and stop messing up the country your time is long past…let the younger generation take over such issues now…

  2. Stop wasting money on unfruitful ventures. So we’ll keep on having referendum after referendum until the elite get what they’re advocating for? Let’s move on.

  3. Referendum referendum, Ms longwe we know what you are after. You benefit from it. Anyway you are still miss Longwe at your age . Only God knows why . Leave us along to move on.

  4. WE HAVE LOST THAT GREAT OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE ONE MAN WANTED TO GET TO PLOT ONE AT ALL COSTS. I REMEMBER THE SAME MAN TOOK HIS CADRES TO CATHEDRAL OF THC TO DENOUNCE THE PF FOR HOLDING ON TO THE CONSTITUTION. BUT FOOLISHLY HE TURNS AGAINST IT AND TELLS HIS FOLLOWERS NOT TO VOTE YES ON IT. RIGHT NOW THE COUNTRY CANNOT AFFORD TO HOLD A REFERENDUM DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS. WE HAVE LOST AND IT IS DONE. THEY THOUGHT THEY WILL PUNISH PF. ON THE CONTRARY YOU HAVE MADE LIFE EASIER FOR PF TO RULE WITHOUT ANY CONSTITUTIONAL OBLIGATION TO FOLLOW THE BORs. I CAN PAINFULLY SAY THAT THE PF SHOULD JUST IGNORE ANY CALLS FOR A REFERENDUM FOR NOW. LET THE FOLLOWERS OF HH LEARN THAT WHAT THEY DID WAS WRONG, THEN PROBABLY WE CAN THINK OF THE REFERENDUM AFTER 5 OR 10 YEARS.

  5. Have you thought of voter fatigue? From 2011 to 2016 how many times have zambians been voting. They are tired and most likely asking them for another set ot of votes is asking for too much. The referendum was a 2 way situation. Either it goes thru or it fails. As it stands it has failed so can we all get a life and move on.

  6. You were supporting ECL coz he put your friend a woman as running mate just to eat not thinking that holding it along elections would fail. Not even me do I know what is contained in the Bill of Rights despite my MBA. You were supposed to tell us what we were voting for not just Yes No. As if we are children. Maybe you were asking us a question like “are you fools”. So we answered you No. What more do you want. leave us alone Miss Longwe. Find a man to marry, coz no one will marry you.

    • She’s already married to Roy Henry Clarke. Find yours. Except she choose not to be called Mrs Clarke because of the prejudices that come with it. There you are.

  7. Any election held within the next 5 years will fail because people are fatigued and need a break from campaigns. Those who voted YES this time, may want to vote NO just to prove a point.

  8. The NGOs want to flag this as another issue for them to chew. Sorry those who campaigned against the Referendum won and should celebrate for the next five years. We don’t any more elections to waste money. Referendum 2021 together with general election.

  9. VERY UGLY WOMEN Is this how zambian women look like or should say is this a typical representation of a zambian woman in her late 50s, the women here at that age are chewable and attractive

  10. The NGOs now want more money for the same thing they advocated to vote NO. General Miyanda is also waiting for seating allowance overs the referendum. Who ever want this to take off should sponsor it NO government resources and money must be wasted on referendum between now and 2020 except in 2021 when we are about to vote. The next referendum must be held together with the next general election. The NGOs, and the government has now 5 years in which to sensitize the nation on the referendum. Please No seating allowances.

  11. Even the woman next to her is disgusted with what she is saying. The NGOs just want to make more money ia

  12. We have more important issues at hand – for now it is the petition in court whose outcome we are waiting for! As you speak Madam Longwe we don’t even know which govt you referring to since we don’t really have a substantive Head of State and Parliament. We are in a complete limbo till the courts rule otherwise, should the outcome lead to a re-run the suspense will even be worse!! May be you should be saying we need to revisit the constitution and referendum towards the next elections. I am not a Lawyer but it appears this constitution has even confused lawyers. There is NEED to EDUCATE CITIZENS on CONTENTS of the CONSTITUTION so that THEY UNDERSTAND that EVEN IF YOU DUNDUMWEZI you CAN STILL LOSE! That will AVOID POST ELECTION CONFUSION we seeing NOW!

  13. The stand-alone national referendum will not work in your favour & will give you disastrous 10% turnout of total registered voters instead. It is not that it failed because it was combine with general elections or UPND or the opposition campaigned against it, but because most people saw no need for it & were comfortable with the status quo. Once their minds change with time, they will vote in favour of it. For now kindly, give us a break & chance to work on economic development but not social development that is not the only thing we need. Please, let the sleeping dog lie otherwise if you disturb it, it will bite you.

  14. There were two candidates in the referendum and we chose one ( a no). It will be immoral to have another election shortly after our choice. suppose you were that candidate and some citizens demand that we have fresh elections, how would you react? that will be a sheer worst of resources now that you failed to encourage citizens to vote wisely on the referendum. Besides, what assurance do you have that voters will turn out in large numbers? It will be harder to convince voters to vote in a stand alone referendum which we are not used to. Political parties had to buy beer and promised voters that bridges would be built even where there are no rivers in order to have them vote but alas that only attracted 56%. I don’t need to prophecy that it will be harder in the absence of beer and…

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