Referendum too costly and difficult undertaking to carry out – Scott

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Vice-President Dr Guy Scott listens to Works, Supply, Transport and Communications minister Yamfwa Mukanga during the launch of Pave Zambia 2000 by President Sata in Lusaka's Chawama Township on September 18,2013
Vice-President Dr Guy Scott listens to Works, Supply, Transport and Communications minister Yamfwa Mukanga during the launch of Pave Zambia 2000 by President Sata in Lusaka's Chawama Township on September 18,2013

VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says a referendum will cost Zambia double the amount of funds needed to hold a general election.
And Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba says Government has a clear roadmap to deliver a people-driven constitution and that will be to the benefit of general welfare of the people.
Speaking during Vice-President’s question time in Parliament yesterday, Dr Scott said for a referendum to be passed, two thirds of eligible voters should participate in the process.
The Vice-President said a referendum is a very costly and difficult undertaking to carry out.
He was answering a question by Kaputa member of Parliament (MP) Maxas Ngonga (PF) who wanted to know the position regarding the constitution-making process as it was reported in the media yesterday.
“Under the present constitution, if the bill of rights in part three of the constitution is modified even by one word, it automatically brings the referendum into play. And automatically referendum costs, I would guess double what the general election costs,” he said.
And Mr Kabimba said President Sata made it clear to the House in 2012 that with the final report being handed over to the President, the post-handover roadmap would be a subject of consultation with stakeholders.
The minister was contributing to the debate on a motion by the Mazabuka Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo who asked government to provide a roadmap for the enactment of a new constitution.
“We have a clear roadmap to deliver a people-drive constitution. But this shall not be to the detriment of the general welfare of Zambian people within the developmental programme,” he said.
“The post-handover roadmap shall be a subject of consultation with stakeholders.
Beyond this, Mr Speaker, I don’t know what other roadmap anybody would ever conceive.”
Mr Kabimba said the constitution is important and should be able to address the emerging fundamentals of a democratic society in this century but it should not outweigh the demand of the people.
In his contribution, Mr Nkombo accused government officials of issuing conflicting statements on the constitution-making process, which he said they have caused worry and anxiety among Zambians.
Chembe MP Mwansa Mbulakulima (MMD) said the demand for a new constitution is noble cause for Zambians.
Mr Mbulakulima said Government should promote tenets of good governance and that enactment of people-driven constitution is critical for the country.
Mwandi MP Michael Kaingu (MMD) said his party members have suffered a lot because of the current constitution.
“Our vehicles have been grabbed because of the current constitution,” he said.
Lupososhi MP Chungu Bwalya (PF) said the need for new constitution is non-controversial and that the Government is committed to delivering the people-driven constitution.

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