Sakwiba questions Sata on referendum

Lawyer Sakwiba Sikota says there is no way the people who have been picked to draft the constitution can decide whether the country should have a referendum or not.

Sikota was reacting President Michael Sata’ s directive to Technical Committee tasked to draft the new Republican Constitution that is should determine whether the national referendum will be part of the road map.

Sata said it will be up to the Committee of Experts to ascertain and recommend whether there will be contentious issues to be referred to the National referendum.

He was speaking when he swore in the Technical Committee Chaired by former Chief Justice Annel Silungwe at State House on Thursday.

President Sata says the experts should not be bothered by the referendum because it’s not part of their terms of reference.

But Sakwiba Sikota said the so called committee of experts can only avoid calling for a referendum if they are not drafting the entire constitution.

He said as long as the committee will also deal with part 3 of the constitution, then a referendum is a must. Part 3 of the constitution contains the bill of rights and amending it requires a referendum.

And Sikota has asked why this team is called ‘committee of experts’ when some members are lay people who have no understanding of the law. Some people on that committee are traditional rulers and gospel preachers.

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