The leadership of the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has called on government to consider postponing the 2016 referendum scheduled for Aug, 11 to a later date.
The decision comes after a consultative meeting held by the Heads of Churches at which a statement was issued to state their position regarding the referendum and signed by CCZ President Bishop Dr Alfred Kalembo.
Dr Alfred Kalembo explained that the referendum should be deferred to a later date after the elections so that it is detached from mainline politics in order for it to stand out as a national issue in a way that unifies people, devoid of partisanship and political affiliations divide.
“The separation of the two will allow Zambians to concentrate on one single issue at a given time. The entrenchment of the Bill of Rights must be divorced completely from a partisan election because at the moment it is difficult to separate the two issues,” he said.
He explained that the council has noted from the commentaries from the streets how people are going to vote on partisan basis and that in itself renders the whole referendum exercise ineffective.
“We see a situation where the constitution making process will go back to the drawing board yet again, a bad situation which could be avoided by paying attention to the process,” Dr Kalembo said.
He added that the question of lack of funds to hold a Referendum separately is a weak argument which cannot be rationally justify.