Referendum unavoidable now, says Saunders

The government should succumb to the will of Zambians by adopting the new constitution through a referendum as that is the only option left, says political activist Dante Saunders.
Saunders said the referendum was the only way forward especially that the United States government has shown willingness to fund the referendum.
Saunders however said it was important that the contents of the draft constitution were handed over to other stakeholders for further recommendations.
Reports indicated that the US government has shown its willingness to fund the referendum if the request was made by the Zambian government.
According to Charge De affairs at the US Embassy David Young, his country would remain committed to supporting avenues and processes that allowed for effective participation of Zambians in the constitution making process.
He said this during the commemoration of the life of iconic civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Junior at the University of Zambia in Lusaka.
Young however said his government would not dictate to Zambia on how the constitution should be adopted and what its contents should be because it was her sovereign right to decide on what law to enact.
Saunders further said that it was for this reason the powers of the President should be removed in the Zambian constitutions because he was holding institutions from delivering according to people’s expectation.
He said that the Zambian people were not sure whether the document was for a few individuals or for the benefit of the citizens of Zambia.
“This PF government is making innocent people suffer because they are not ready to give what belongs to the people. There is a lot that must scrutinize in the document and it is us the people who are supposed to choose what suits us,” he said.
He said that government had no reason to deny Zambians a people driven constitution, and that it was mandated to source money for the referendum the benefit of the people.“If the government can source money for other programmes, what about the constitution that is the backbone of the country’s democracy. It does not mean that when State House has power over the institutions, it should intimidate them from doing their jobs freely; democracy gives opportunity to everyone to express their views,” he said.The government had earlier said that holding a referendum was too costly and could drain the country if used to adopt the new constitution.

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One Response to “Referendum unavoidable now, says Saunders”

  1. Chivunda Samusungwa says:

    Other members of the Western donor community have,in the past,also offered to financially assist us to successfully complete the constitution-making exercise.The trouble is that the PF leadership is unwilling to listen to the people’s call for a new constitution.
    Let us unite and force the PF to give in.


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