Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has challenged United Party for National Development (UPND) President Hakainde Hichilema to explain the tentative roadmap on Constitution Reform.
YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza says they have received the news that Mr. Hichilema has signed a social contract to bring the constitution reform to an end before 2016 elections if elected president with a sigh of relief, although they would like to challenge him to clearly explain to the Zambian people how he intends to achieve this given that there is a shorter time frame between 2015 and 2016.
Mr. Mwanza notes that Mr. Hichilema is today in the same position as President Michael Sata and the PF were in when promised to deliver the Constitution within 90days but failed to do so.
He says it important that this time around politicians make promises on the Constitution that are time-bound and explain to Zambian voters how they plan to realize such plans so that Zambians clearly understand that these politicians mean well.
Mr Mwanza states that Zambians may want to know whether Mr Hichilema has widely consulted with stakeholders such as the Central Statistical Office and Electoral Commission of Zambia on how long and what resources may be needed to update the Voters Registers and conduct a Sample population Census or a full Census that will determine the number of eligible voters so that the Referendum Commission would determine whether the threshold of 50% of eligible voters would have been met in the planned referendum.
Mr. Mwanza says YALI is agreeable that the process on the constitution needs to be brought to an end, but that those campaigning on the basis of the constitution must now tell Zambians in no uncertain terms how they intend to bring this process to an end.
He notes that it would be in the interest of all Zambians to have a new Constitution because the 1996 Constitution has so far proven unreliable and lacking in many sectors.
Report by Lusa Kilale