MOVEMENT for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) president Nevers Mumba has been condemned for suggesting that he will consider holding a national referendum in his pursuit to restore the 1964 Barotseland Agreement should Zambians vote for him in the coming presidential election.
Former transport and communications minister William Harrington said it would be another wasteful exercise for any government to subject the 1964 Barotseland Agreement to a referendum when the people of Western Province had made their position clear through the Rodger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry.
Mr Harrington said late President Michael Sata had left a bad legacy in Western Province when he trashed the Chongwe Commission of Inquiry report that recommended the restoration of the 1964 Barotseland Agreement.
He said Dr Mumba was using the wrong campaign message by telling the people of Western Province that he would constitute a commission of inquiry to investigate the problems that had made successive governments fail to restore the Barotseland Agreement.
Mr Harrington said as a strong advocate of the restoration of the Barotse Agreement, he was shocked that Dr Mumba could consider subjecting the agreement to a referendum when the Chongwe commission had made recommendations which he said were unfortunately rubbished by president Sata.
He said the Patriotic Front (PF) Government wasted a lot of money on the Chongwe commission and yet none of the recommendations were entertained by President Sata who instead trashed the document.
“Dr Mumba was in Mongu campaigning and he told his supporters that if elected president, he would consider subjecting the Barotseland Agreement to a referendum. As a strong advocate of the restoration of the Agreement, I wish to tell Dr Mumba not to take a trajectory that would waste people’s money.
Late President Sata left a bad legacy in Western Province.
He constituted the Rodger Chongwe Commission of Inquiry which recommended the restoration of the Barotseland Agreement but the document was trashed after money was spent,” Mr Harrington said.
Mr Harrington has appealed to Acting President Guy Scott to consider releasing the recommendations of the Chongwe commission of inquiry so that Zambians could know all the contents.