Make referendum a priority – Kabanda

Make referendum a priority – Kabanda

By Michael Kasonde

CIVIL rights activist Simon Kabanda says programmes aimed at eradicating widespread poverty in Zambia will always be in vain without constitutional guarantee.

Kabanda, a former executive secretary of the Citizens Forum, said President Edgar Lungu had no option but to make the issue of a referendum a priority.

“While it is true that holding a referendum is an expensive venture, the cost does not outweigh its importance. Sustainable economic growth and development in a country lies in the enhancement of the Bill of Rights to include the social and economic rights in the country’s supreme governance document, which is the constitution,” Kabanda said.

He said the rights included health care services, decent housing, food of acceptable standards, clean and safe water, social protection and education.

“Without constitutional guarantee of the social and economic rights, programmes aimed at addressing poverty in the country will be in vain because they will not be sustainable. The government of President Lungu has no choice but to make the issues of holding a referendum a priority,” said Kabanda.