The Grand Coalition, championing the speedy enactment of a people driven constitution, has rejected the pronouncement by government to hold the constitution referendum alongside the 2016 General Elections.
The Grand Coalition has however noted the positive step by government to propose to amend section 3 of the Referendum Act of 1969 so that it is in line with the Constitution provision in Article 79.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lusaka this morning, Grand Coalition Spokesperson MacDonald Chipenzi says sadly, government has not asked Zambians or the donor community to support the holding of a referendum by mobilizing the required resources.
Mr. Chipenzi says the current constitution is inadequate in transparency and accountability mechanisms, providing effective checks and balances, promotion of democratic practices and curbing wastefulness of meager public resources through by-elections.
Mr. Chipenzi says the Grand Coalition wants this mischief to be addressed immediately by providing clauses for presidential running mate, appointment of ministers outside parliament, treatment of social, political, culture and economic rights as rights and not privileges in the new constitution.
And the Grand Coalition Spokesperson says the argument that a referendum will be expensive to hold as a standalone event because it would require a full or sample population census does not hold water.
He has emphasized that the coalition still maintains that a Constitution Referendum is attainable in Zambia before 2016 elections if political will is cultivate in the process.
He argues that if a national Referendum is held alongside the tripartite elections, it means that the new constitution will be in effect after the 2016 General Elections.
Mr. Chipenzi, who is also Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Executive Director has since called on Zambians to stand up and be counted on the constitution making process which he says has gobbled so much money so far with no hope of ending soon.