It goes without saying that the on-going Presidential Election Petition in the Constitutional Court, where President Hakainde Hichilema of the UPND, and his Running Mate Geoffrey Mwamba, have petitioned the election of Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Inonge Wina of the PF as President-Elect and Vice President-Elect of the Republic of Zambia, is of great public interest.
The proceedings and eventual outcome of the petition will definitely have far-reaching consequences on constitutionalism and democratic governance of our great country.
As the Green Party, we are however disappointed with the lack of information from the Constitutional Court or judiciary to inform the public on the proceedings in such an important case besides the conjectures and speculation thinning out on social media and other channels.
From the mood on the streets and sporadic possessions on the Copperbelt, and elsewhere, it is very clear that the public is yearning for regular and accurate updates on what is happening at every stage of the proceedings but without much success.
Mainstream press has only been able to do so much but their understanding of the proceedings appears narrow. To a great extent, some reports have not been accurate and seem unreliable most of the times.
As a result, the public have taken to social media to get some form of regular updates, which updates unfortunately are mostly based on hearsay, misconceptions, misrepresentations, biasness etc. This situation is not healthy for the peace and safety of our nation.
Article 118(1) of the Constitution of Zambia states that “judicial authority of the Republic derives from the people of Zambia and shall be exercised in a just manner and such exercise shall promote accountability”.
In this regard, we urge the judiciary to try to operate in a manner that promotes transparency and accountability at all times as demanded by the Constitution.
We therefore call upon the judiciary to create a mechanism of informing the people of Zambia, who are the real owners of the judicial power, on what is happening in the Petition to avoid conjectures, speculation, anxieties which have led to disruption of peaceful coexistence in some parts of the country.
ISSUED: 31ST AUGUST, 2016
BY: PETER SINKAMBA- PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE