By Nation Reporter
THE Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has observed that the general populace missed an opportunity to make the referendum vote a success and has appealed to Government to consider using a different approach to implementing clauses in the referendum.
In a statement yesterday FODEP Livingstone district chairperson Gideon Musonda expressed dismay at the failure of the referendum and stated that there was need for the Government to find mechanisms of implementing progressive issues contained in the draft Bill of Rights.
Mr Musonda said that the country had missed out on a progressive document and that one of the options would be for the administration to seek means of implementing progressive clauses contained in the document.
He said that the failure of the referendum could also be attributed to the opposition who had campaigned against it by urging their supporters to shun the process and the politicking of the issue when in fact it was not politically inclined.
“As FODEP, we are very disappointed with the results of the referendum vote. The people of Zambia have missed a huge opportunity that would have enhanced their living standard.
However, our appeal to the new Government is that they should find means of implementing progressive issues contained in the draft Bill,” he said.
Mr Musonda has called for need to build consensus on important national issues going forward stating that although the civil society organisations had campaigned for it to succeed it failed as people were divided on the matter.
“The failure of a referendum is attributed to the politicization of a non-political issue. We had main opposition party campaigning against it and urging their followers to ignore it.
“Some political parties and members of the civil society were campaigning for it to succeed. It has failed because we were divided as a people,” he said.
Last week, Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson, Justice Esau Chulu announced that the referendum had failed as it did not meet 50 percent of the votes margin.