What is a Referendum?
A referendum is a process that allows citizens to approve or reject a proposed law to be passed by the Legislature. In a referendum voters are given the opportunity to directly decide through a vote on a particular subject matter.
All eligable citizens have the right to either accept or reject a question posed. A voter is expected to choose “YES” or “NO” on the question given. This may be regarding a new constitution, a constitutional amendment or a proposed law.
In 2016, Zambia will be holding a referendum to agree or disagree to the amendments to the Constitution to enhance the bill or rights contained in part lll of the constitution of Zambia and to repeal and replace Article 79 of teh Constitution of Zambia.
“Do you agree to the amendment to the Constitution to enhance the Bill of Rights contained in part III of the Constitution of Zambia and to repeal and replace article 79 of the Constitution of Zambia?”
What is the Bill of Rights?
A Bill of Rights is a set legal guarantees that are specially set out within the Constitution to protect fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals. These guarantees and freedoms include freedom of conscience, expression, assembly, association, liberty, life, security of a person, protection of the law, protection for privacy of the home and other property without compensation.
The Bill of Rights is fundamental to democracy and constitutionalism and is the basis of Zambia’s social, political, legal, economic and cultural policies and state action. It formally enshrines those fundamental rights and liberties considered essential for all people in the country. It affirms the democractiuce values that border on human dignity, equality and freedom.
What is being altered (amended) in the Bill Rights?
Civil and Political Rights : These are provided for in the current Bill of rights. In the proposed Bill of rights, Additional Articles have been included while others have been modified.
What will be new in the Bill of Rights?
- Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights
- Further and Special Rights
THE BILL OF RIGHTS IN THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION
Civil and Political Rights
- Protection from discrimination
- Right to life
- Protection from inhuman treatment and security of person
- Freedom of conscience, belief and religion
- Freedom of expression
- Access to information
- Freedom of association
- Freedom of movement and residence
- Equality before the law
- Fair trial
- Equality for both gender
ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CULTIRAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS
- Choice of trade, occupation or profession
- Consumer rights
- Labour relations
- Language, culture and intellectual property rights
Further and Special Rights
- Further protection and rights relating to marriage and family
- Special and further rights for children
- Further rights for youth
- Further protection of young person
- Futher rights for persons with disabilities
REPEAL AND REPLACEMENT OF ARTICLE 79
What is Article 79?
It is an Article of the constitition stating that a referendum is held to amend the article itself and the Bill of Rights.
What is going to replace Article 79?
Part 19A of the proposed Constitution containing Articles 301, 302 and 303. Artcle 301 covers amendents to the constitution and Article 302 specifies which Articles can be amended without a referendum. In addition to the Bill of Rights, article 303 states Articles that should be amended without a referendum.
In addition to the Bill of Rights, Articles 303 states Articles that should be amended, repealed and replaced only through a referendum.