FODEP urges government to constitute a referendum committee

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The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has called on government to critically consider instituting a referendum commission in order to make the current constitution making process legitimate and fully owned by all Zambians.

FODEP Executive Director MacDonald Chipenzi has also called on government to consider reviewing the current referendum and complement it with the current legislations on the constitution making process.

Mr. Chipenzi explained that the advanced stage at which the constitution making process has reached demands that a referendum commission is instituted in order to pave way to a people driven constitution that will reflect their aspirations.

He said his organisation would continue to engage government so that it can speed up the process of setting up the referendum commission so that the next constitution passes through all necessary recommended legislatures.

Mr. Chipenzi was speaking in Lusaka today at the one day civil society organisations stakeholders’ consultative workshop on the referendum, legal framework, options and the way forward.

The workshop, which has been organised by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), is being attended by Caritas Zambia, Southern African Centre for Conflict resolution (SACCORD), Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), Operation Young Vote (OYV), Transparent International Zambia (TIZ) and other key stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chipenzi has commended the technical committee drafting the Zambian constitution for making positive strides in producing the first draft constitution in good time despite various limitations.

He has however called on the civil society organisations, the church, the media and all well meaning Zambians to support the committee in ensuring that the constitution making process becomes a succeeds.