New Constitution Referendum set for 2016

Tension in Zambia created by constitution making process
Tension in Zambia created by constitution making process

Government has announced that a referendum to adopt the new constitution will be held next year.

Cabinet has since approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend Section 3 (1) of the Referendum Act of 1967 of the Laws of Zambia in order to bring it into conformity with Article 79 (3) of the Constitution of Zambia.

Briefing journalists at State House this afternoon after a Cabinet meeting, Acting Chief Government Spokesperson Vincent Mwale says the inconsistency is that the constitution requires 50 percent of persons entitled to be registered as voters in a referendum, while the Referendum Act provides for all persons registered as voters in a referendum.

Mr. Mwale says Minister of Justice Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula will issue a comprehensive ministerial statement in Parliament in due course.

Mr. Mwale states that Cabinet has also approved the appointment of members of the Zambia Law Development Commission and that Dr. Simbyakula will announce the approved names of the commission.

And Mr Mwale says a ship carrying crude oil destined for Zambia has docked at the port of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and measures are being put in place to ensure the crude oil is urgently pumped to Indeni Petroleum Refinery for processing.

Mr. Mwale says more tankers will be mobilized to transport fuel to most parts of the country.

He says President Lungu has directed the Ministers of Energy and Finance Christopher Yaluma and Alexander Chikwanda respectively to immediately devise a financing plan that will allow for the immediate pumping of fuel into Indeni from the cargo ship.

Mr Mwale adds that President Lungu also wants Mr.Yaluma to examine the current fuel supply contract and ensure that it is terminated immediately if there are material breaches committed.