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