The President must immediately appoint a referendum commission now that the technical committee drafting the constitution has finally completed the interim final draft constitution, says the Non Governmental Organisations Coordinating Council (NGOCC).
NGOCC executive director Engwase Phiri said that the announcement by the technical committee that they had completed the interim final draft constitution was welcome.
Phiri said that having heard the announcement through the media, she hoped that the committee would hand the interim final draft constitution to the President and the public without delay.
She called upon the government to begin the process of preparing for the holding of a referendum for the adoption of the new constitution.
“The Zambian people have been anxiously awaiting the completion of this process; therefore, the announcement by the technical committee spokesperson, Ernest Mwansa, in the media would not have come at a better time than this,” she said.
Phiri said that the importance of a new constitution could not be overemphasized especially that for many years, the realisation of a truly people-driven constitution had been elusive.
She said that Zambians had been very clear as to what they wanted in a new constitution, because they were beneficiaries of the document.
Phiri cited among other the key issues many Zambians would wanted to be addressed as the incorporation in the bill of rights of the new Republican constitution.
“These rights are essential for integral human development especially as they give the right of access to basic needs such as education, health care, a clean environment, proper housing, employment, food, water and sanitation,’ she explained.
UPND official found dead
Mystery surrounds the death of a UPND official Newton Demuna who was found unconscious in his vehicle while parked at Levy Business Park opposite Zesco workshop as speculations abound that MMD Solwezi MP Lucky Mulusa last month survived poisoning after his drink was allegedly laced.
Demuna was taken to the University Teaching Hospital where he was pronounced dead, with police confirming his death and adding that some foodstuffs found in his car have since been taken for laboratory tests to help ascertain the cause of his death.
And results of the tests carried out by the Food and Drug Laboratory in Lusaka confirmed that Mulusa’s samples revealed that his drink contained a substance known as Clonazepam which if consumed in large quantities, can cause relaxation of the muscles, complete black out and break down of the nervous system and collapse of the liver and eventual death.
Efforts to contact Mulusa for confirmation failed as he was believed to be in his constituency.
But sources close to the story revealed that the victim had a drink with friends at a well established location in Lusaka and as he was being served by a named barman, he noticed that the barman was an uneasy and did not relate o him in the usual manner.
The source said the barman gage an implausible explanation as to why he had offered Mulusa a drink.
“Because of the peculiar way the drink was mixed and served, we decided to question the barman on why he was behaving in a strange way and whose drink he was mixing with such strange movements” he said.
The source said they were surprised when the barman served them the same drink and told them that he actually bought the drink for them.
“It was at this point that we took the drink to the restaurant pretending that we were going to consume it there but we secured it and after discussions we agreed to take the sample to the UTH police post where two officers escorted us to the Food and Laboratory where samples were analysed.
“According to the laboratory, the chemical in the drink can cause relaxation of the muscles, complete black out and impairment and when consumed in high levels of alcohol can lead to break down of the nervous system and collapsing of the liver and death” the friend said.