NCC resolves to adopt constitution through referendum

The National Constitution Convention has resolved that the new constitution should be adopted through a National Referendum to allow for a national consensus.

The decision came following the recommendation from the thematic working group on General Principles of Governance which proposed that the document be adopted via a national referendum.

But Request Muntanga noted that the whole process has no legal framework and that the mode of adoption could have been known if there was a legal framework to specify how the process would be carried out.

Mr Muntanga said the Technical Committee should be clear on issues of legal framework which mandates them to work on the document.

But Former Speaker of the National Assembly Amusa Mwanamwambwa supported the proposal to adopt the constitution via a National Referendum and further proposed that the referendum be held within a timeframe of 90 days after the document is submitted to the President. And Pastor Luchile from Luapula noted that what is important was the mode of adoption which is the referendum and not necessarily the issue of legal framework.

He said a referendum will cheer all Zambians as they will participate in adopting their document.

Contributing to the motion on the floor, Heritage Party President said there was need to give the technical committee and the drafts to go through the document and rush them into submitting it so that it is quickly subjected to a referendum.

Gen Muyanda said even the Zambia people needs time to read the document before they vote in a referendum adding that the whole process is time consuming just like a general election hence the need not to rush.

And Katele Kalumba suggested that Parliament should enact legislation on the mode of adoption of the document immediately after it is submitted to the president.

The house unanimously adopted the referendum as a mode of adopting the new constitution but did not specify the timeframe within which it should be adopted.

The mode of adopting the new constitution has been a hot issue since the time the constitution making process started and many organisations and institutions have called for a referendum as the best way of adopting the document.

When the National Convention opened on Wednesday this week, the topic of deciding the mode of adopting the constitution and the legality of the whole process were raised and some delegates almost divided the convention which had then just assembled.

Meanwhile the election which was supposed to take place this afternoon on whether to provide for the recognition of the Barotse Agreement of 1964 in the preamble of the Draft Constitution has been deferred to the last day of the convention.

The elections were called after the house failed to reach a consensus on the topic which rose emotions and tempers among delegates.

ZANIS