NGO launches referendum sensitization drive 


 A NON-governmental organization on good governance has intensified the process of sensitizing citizens on the importance of a referendum for the Bill of Rights after its failure during the August 11 general elections.

Action Governance Forum executive director Justin Mushoke said it was imperative to continue sensitizing Zambians on the referendum for the Bill of Rights.

Mr Mushoke said it was unfortunate that the referendum did not work according to the expectation of the people.

He said now that a new referendum was being organized, it was vital that more stakeholders were engaged and continue to sensitize the people so that they know what is good for them.

Mr Mushoke said his organisation has started engaging youths on issue- based governance to make them understand the Bill of Rights, among other things.

Mr Mushoke said Zambians must show interest in the referendum as it would benefit them as individuals and not the politicians.

He advised young people to take such opportunities to shape their future, so that in future no youths would be used as tools of violence by politicians.

“The failure of the referendum is not about its bad content, but because people were not all that aware of what it contained, hence only a few supported the Bill,” he said.

Mr Mushoke said there was need to achieve the process by making every citizen understand the contents of the Bill of Rights.

Zambians must be made to understand that the Bill of Rights was fundamental to democracy as the basis on which the country’s social, political, legal, economic and cultural policies and decisions would be made.

He urged people to develop the culture of reading, saying politicians took advantage of the situation to mislead citizens.

‘‘These rights we have decided to throw away will be remembered not far from now.

‘‘These are the right to access to information, the right to education, the right to health services, the right to many more other fundamental rights and services, which surely needed to be part of our Constitution,” he said.

Zambians should take keen interest in studying the Bill of Rights for them to make an informed decision in future, he added.