GOVT’S COMMITMENT TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON BILL OF RIGHTS DOUBTED
By Leah Ngoma
The Zambian Civil Liberties Union–ZCLU-has doubted the government’s commitment to hold a referendum to expand the bill of rights in order to include economic, social and cultural rights due to its failure to provide a clear roadmap on the process.
Early this year, Justice Minister Mulambo Haimbe disclosed that the government intends to hold a referendum to amend the bill of rights to include economic, social and cultural rights during the implementation of the eighth national development plan.
But ZCLU Executive Director Mwanza is concerned that the government has not yet started engaging stakeholders for their input towards the roadmap for the process, an indication that holding the referendum is not a priority for the current regime.
And Mr Mwanza has emphasized the need for the referendum to be held before 2025 to avoid a replica of 2016 where the process failed due to its politicization as sensitization campaigns were held at the same time with general election campaigns.