NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale
NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale

Non-Governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) Executive Director Engwase Mwale has said Zambia’s financial constraints should not be used as an excuse for not having the referendum on the Bill of Rights shortly after it failed to meet the threshold because the Commonwealth has already offered full support regarding the referendum.

Yesterday during the commemoration of International Women’s Day at the Lusaka’s Show grounds, President Edgar Lungu said Government would not at any time soon hold a Referendum on the Bill of Rights due to financial constraints.

The President the Country had held the two costly elections in the last two years and now was time to channel resources towards alleviating the plight of many Zambians.

The Pan African Radio Journalist Hermit Hachilonde reports that the NGOCC Executive Director Engwase Mwale said the nature of the Bill of Rights which must be adopted through a referendum is a developmental issue as well which is worthy every resource and it requires commitment by all citizens because it is one of the people’s plights that need urgent alleviation.

She was quick to explicate that the Bill of Rights is an embodiment of citizens’ aspirations when it comes to the human rights which includes the prescription of fundamental Governance principles, adding that the president should always bear in mind that a referendum ought to be made a national priority.

Ms. Mwale has however stated that some of the provisions in the 2016 amended constitution are rendered meaningless if the Bill of Rights is left as it is with its discriminatory clauses, especially those impacting on the status of women, children and the differently-baled.

Ms. Mwale expressed worry how a Government that is resolving to empower women and other vulnerable groups can at the same time seeing no problem with having a Bill of Rights that is discriminatory to the disadvantaged groups in the society.

She has since noted that it is imperative that top national leaders are engaged on such researched and well-meaning endeavors to avoid politicizing such a noble agenda that is meant to protect every citizen towards sustainable development.

“Financial constraints should not be used as an excuse for not having the referendum on the Bill of Rights shortly after it failed to meet the threshold because the Commonwealth has already offered full support” Ms. Mwale said

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I really do not understand why we should bring back what was rejected by the public and the opposition political parties to try and see if they will accept it this time. they rejected the bill of rights which showed that they dont want it so we should just find a different way of giving them rights without spending even if some so called donas who want to control us because they have given us something are willing to help. after all the constitution will be amended and it will appear like the old one except for 50%+1 and running mate.

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    • Sir, ‘government’ you are an ignoramus.
      1. The Bill failed ab initio because of the low voter turn out.The turn out did not meet the minimum threshold prescribed in the Constitution. ECZ did not even bother to count the ‘yes’ and ‘nos’votes.
      2. Patriotic, educated, nationalist and well meaning voters voted against the Bill as presented because of the condition that was attached to the Bill, i.e. to permit government to amend the Constitution and bill of rights at its pleasure!
      3. The cost of elections is indeed high basically because of corruption, theft, greed and incompetence. Elections and bye-elections are treated by those in government as manna whereby huge allowances are payable to government officials doing their ordinary jobs! Goods and services are procured at 200% their…

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    • Sakala J – You have it wrong: the calculation was to be based on the percentage of the “number of registered voters” – not on the percentage of number of voters registered.

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    • Sakala are you saying things will change this time? are you sure that the next bill of rights will go through? cheak this https://www.lusakatimes.com/2016/08/19/referendum-vote-flopsfails-meet-threshold/ and also this for the table http://zambia-weekly.com/article/referendum-fails-thanks-to-upnd/

      Do you think those reasons you have indicated are true? check this for more information http://paulshalala.blogspot.com/2016/08/zambias-referendum-fails-as-less-than.html

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  2. ms mwale just trying to please her funders…we dont need it. it was rejected so be it. people have got better things to do

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  3. What is the point of having a Referendum at great cost for the Expanded Bill of Rights when the narrow and current Bill of Rights is not being respected and adhered to? Our priority should be to make sure the Current Bill of Rights under the Jurisdiction of the High Court is being adhered to. Under the current Bill of Rights every Zambian has a constitutional right to be heard in Court, to marry a woman of your choice, pray at a church of yr choice, attend school of yr choice etc. Right now the Rights of HH & GBM to be heard in Court are being denied and violated. The Right to be heard in Court is enshrined in the Current Bill of Rights and yet the Petitioners have been denied their Rights to be heard in Concourt and the High Court so far. Hearing a Petition means the Petitioners and…

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  4. Is it even a year since ‘people’ trashed it? Were you not among the de-campaigners of the same? I think we need to allow people to get on with their life and just accept the consequences of foolishly politicizing everything including what we all need!

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  5. Am surprised to hear what the NGO are crying for. They campaigned against the Bill of rights during elections campaigns. They were busy painting Lungu white and black, at least if the bill of rights passed it would have 50/50 win or lose.
    When the British voted for Brexit they were haunted they wanted to go for second referendum and over 5 million people petitioned parliament to go for second referendum but it doesn’t work like that. For now don’t cry over spilled milk.

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  6. People like these NGO’s must tell the Nation who will provide the funds. If it is their donors footing the BILL I have no problem having this useful but useless exercise.

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