Government should borrow money for referendum

Sarah Longwe
Sarah Longwe

THE Grand Coalition on a people-driven Constitution says Government should borrow money from other countries to facilitate the amendment of the constitution through a referendum.
Speaking on Muvi TV’s The Assignment programme on Sunday night, deputy chairperson Sarah Longwe said Government should treat the issue of the referendum the same way it did the unplanned January 20, 2015 presidential election.
“We won’t mind Government borrowing money for a referendum, which can be paid back by our grandchildren.  If donors are not interested in lending us the money, we the Zambians can donate whatever we have so that we can have a constitution before the 2016 elections,” Ms Longwe said.

She said the grand coalition realises that having a referendum is expensive, but that Government should know that doing the right thing is always expensive.
Ms Longwe said it is better to have the constitution enacted through a referendum than to have parliamentarians debate it based on party lines.
Ms Longwe also said government should not worry about having a census before the national referendum because records from the 2010 census can still be used.
And a researcher with the Law Association of Zambia, Landilani Banda, said with appropriate sensitisation, the required number of people would vote in the referendum.
Mr Banda who is also a member of the grand coalition, said Government should not worry that there would be apathy.