The Commission of Inquiry established to inquire into the voting patterns in the general elections conducted from 2006 to 2016 and the electoral violence that characterised the 2016 general elections, starts its public sittings tomorrow, Monday, 19th December, 2016 at Nakatindi hall at the Civic centre in Lusaka
Commission chairperson Justice Munalula Lisimba (rtd), is calling on stakeholders and members of the general public to come forward and make submissions to the Commission during the three days it will sit at Nakatindi hall from Monday, 19th, Tuesday, 20th and Wednesday, 21st December, 2016.
Justice Lisimba says Zambians have the opportunity, through the Commission, to reject electoral violence by recommending appropriate measures that should be taken to avoid a recurrence of the scourge.
“In particular, I call upon political parties, civil society organisations, the church, student bodies and other stakeholders, to support this process by encouraging their members and the public at large to appear before the Commission and testify. The benefits of allowing people to speak out far outweigh all partisan interests. Therefore, let no one fear, nor be hindered from exercising their democratic right by speaking out on this matter. It will be unfair and unjust to let victims of electoral violence suffer in silence,” says Justice Lisimba.
The success of the work of this Commission of Inquiry, like others before, is solely dependent on people coming forward to speak out.
“If people do not to come forward, I am afraid that those who were hurt because of electoral violence will continue suffering in silence. This is an opportunity that Zambians cannot afford to miss,” says Justice Lisimba.
President Edgar Lungu appointed the 15 member Commission of Inquiry on Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence on 21st October, 2016. The Commission was consequently sworn in by Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima on 28th October, 2016.
The mandate of the Commission is to inquire into the voting patterns in the general elections conducted from 2006 to 2016 and the electoral violence that characterized the 2016 general elections in order to come up with recommendations that will prevent the occurrence of violence in future elections and ensure that voting outcomes are reflective of the people’s free will.