The Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes-SACCORD says the increase in the number of days to deal with presidential petitions will give ample time for the aggrieved parties to address their issues.
Speaking in an interview SACCORD Executive Director Boniface Cheembe said the 14 days which was put in the amended constitution of 2016 was problematic and that it contributed to the political tension which the country has seen since the 2016 general elections.
Cheembe said his organisation welcomes the move to increase the number of days from 14 to 30 days because the increase in days will give adequate time to the aggrieved to attend to their grievances
“As SACCORD we welcome the increase of days in presidential petition from what was included in the amended constitution number 2 of 2016 of 14 days to what the technical committee put in place by the Ministry of Justice has recommended that of 30 days.
“We believe that the increase in the number of days will go a long way in helping and to give some time to aggrieved parties to be able to attend to their grievances as the 14 days was too problematic and contributed to the political tension that the country has been experiencing since the 2016 general election on account of the fact the 14 days were not adequate.
“As SACCORD we would even have preferred to have 90 days for presidential petition so that all stakeholders are given ample time for them to have all their grievances heard so that by the time we are having a President being sworn into office he or she would at least be coming into office without any other pending issues as regards the petition,” he said.
The technical committee appointed by the Ministry of Justice to address some of the lacunas in the amended constitution commended that a presidential petition be given 30 days in which to resolve the petition.
This recommendation comes in the wake of a difficult petition by the UPND in the 2016 elections. It was believed by stakeholders that the 14 days was inadequate a period for a substantive presentation of evidence.
In a highly competitive and polarised political environment it is only hoped that the 30 days period under recommendation would suffice to allow both the petitioners and the petitioned to beyond reasonable doubt walk away content that justice has prevailed.
Zambians alike crave an election that ends with one conceding defeat and the other walking to victory without humilaiting the loser in national building.