DEFENCE Minister Edgar Lungu has said Government will hold a referendum to adopt a new Constitution despite the huge cost if that is the wish of the people.
Mr Lungu said Government would go with the aspirations of the people after taking ample time to study the final draft Constitution.
He said this yesterday during the launch of the African Centre for Strategic Studies (ACSS) Zambia Community Chapter held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
“We will have ample time to go through the draft Constitution and when we complete the process we will go by the direction of the people.
“If they want a referendum we will go that direction even though it is an expensive venture to undertake,” Mr Lungu said.
He said most countries reviewing their constitutions were against the referendum as it was an expensive exercise.
Mr Lungu said there were various articles of interest that needed to be looked at before Government could enact the new Constitution.
“Going forward, we have not abandoned the process. We will complete it to the letter,” he said.
Mr Lungu praised the security wings for upholding the Constitution and contributing to the democratic dispensation of Zambia.
“The defence and security institutions are among the oldest and most experienced in the region and have remained the bedrock upon which our democracy and peace are anchored.
“That’s why Zambia has remained a bastion of peace since independence,” he said.
The ACSS is the pre-eminent United States (US) department of defence institution for
strategic studies, research and outreach in Africa, which offers a range of academic symposiums, workshops and programmes throughout the US, Africa and Europe.
In Zambia, the Chapter is being launched in partnership with the ACSS, Dag Hammerskjoeld Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at the Copperbelt University (CBU), and the US Embassy. It would be based at the CBU.
US Embassy Charge d’ Affaires David Young said the partnership between Zambia and US security officials through the ACSS was symbolic of the two countries’ commitment to deepening cooperation.
Mr Young said in a speech read for him by David Wallin that the centre would help advance national, regional and global security.
CBU vice-chancellor Naison Ngoma said security issues were sensitive.
Professor Ngoma said people who do not understand security issues should not be allowed to comment on the matter anyhow.
He said there should be political will to have good defence and security in the country.
Times of Zambia