The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has insisted that the referendum to amend part three of the constitution which deals with the Bill of Rights will be alongside the general elections on August 11 despite opposition from stakeholders.

elections
elections
But the organizations, under the auspices of the Non-Governmental Coordinating Council (NGOCC), said holding the referendum together with the general elections will result into rendering the constitution making process meaningless and a waste of public resources as it will not achieve the people’s intended purpose.

“Less than 70 days before the proposed national referendum is held, the government of Zambia only released the proposed Bill of Rights that is supposed to be subjected to the national referendum on Monday 30th May 2016. The people of Zambia are not aware of the contents of the proposed Bill of Eights that they will be voting for or against,” the groups said in a communique.

According to the communique, the delay in releasing the proposed Bill of Rights was a deliberate ploy to deprive people an opportunity to bequeath unto themselves as a people driven constitution that was a reflective of the Zambian people’s will and aspirations.

The government’s decision to go ahead and hold the referendum alongside the general elections has angered stakeholders in the country who felt the referendum should have been held separately.

But the government has insisted on holding the two events simultaneously, saying it was meant to cut costs.

Early this year, Zambian President Edgar Lungu signed the country’s amended constitution but part three of the constitution which deals with the Bill of Rights was left out and is supposed to be subjected to a referendum. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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