——A Copperbelt-based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has called for the holding of a national referendum as the best way of adopting and enacting the National Constitution.
Forum for Good Governance, Gender Equity and Justice International president, Philemon Phiri, says there is need for government to clarify the mode of adopting the current constitution which is been debated on.
Mr Phiri said civil society groups in the country are worried at the mixed statements being issued by different ministers who are saying there might be a referendum or not.
He said as a civil society group, the referendum was the best mode of adopting the new constitution despite the involvement of various stakeholders through the holding of national constitution consultative forums from district level.
Mr Phiri said even the old constitution has a referendum act which states that in the event when contentious issues are raised and are about to be changed, a referendum was the best way.
He said this will not be the first time a referendum will be held in the country as one took place in 1969 when Zambia was changing from plural politics to the one party state.
Mr Phiri said what government should do is appoint a referendum committee which should start preparing for the exercise once the national consultative forum is held.
He said should this be a problem the Electoral Commission of Zambia was best placed to over-sea and manage the referendum since it has experience.
Mr Phiri urged the PF government not to back track on its decision of holding the referendum as it made the promise in its manifesto.
He said as an organization the Forum for Good Governance, Gender Equity and Justice was pleased with the performance of the ruling party in the area of constitutional reforms.