The Oasis Forum has called for an urgent enactment of the enhanced bill of rights to address the arbitrary detention, right to media freedoms and the freedom of information.
The forum says the unfortunate series of events exemplifies the need for the introduction of an enhanced bill of rights to address some of the shortfalls in our current constitution.
Addressing a press at media briefing, Oasis Forum Chairperson Father Cleophas Lungu said whilst the forum appreciates that the referendum on the proposed and enhanced bill of rights was not successful, the forum believes that it was because of the inopportune timing of it and a lack of sensitization on the need to have an enhanced bill of rights.
“We cannot stress enough how critical it is to the welfare of the Zambian people that resources be found to conduct another people driven referendum devoid of any connotation of spearheading a partisan agenda.
The forum also proposed a refinement of the 2016 amendments to the constitution to make the drafting clearer and in line with the will of the people as expressed in the technical committee’s final report of October,2014 adding that there is need for the terms of reference for the process of refinement be guided and protected by a statute to ensure that the process is free from political interference.
And Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) General Secretary at the same function expressed disappointment that all parties to the communiqué held in March to foster peace and harmony among political parties have ignored the endorsement.
Rev Matale expressed concern that despite all political parties present endorsing to a communiqué produced at the end of the political dialogue, non of them has kept their promise of the agreement which was aimed at enhancing peace ahead and after the Aug 11th, 2016 elections.