Probe team condemns political violence

Sun, 18 Dec 2016 10:47:26 +0000

 

By ANNIE ZULU

ELECTORAL violence is a new phenomenon in Zambian politics which the people of Zambia should reject with the contempt it deserves, Commission of Inquiry on Voting Patterns and Electoral Violence Chairperson Justice Munalula Lisimba has said.

Justice Lisimba said through the Commission which Government has established to inquire into the voting patterns and electoral violence from 2006 to 2016, Zambians had the opportunity to roundly and loudly reject electoral violence by recommending appropriate measures that should be taken to avoid a recurrence of the scourge.

He said if left unchecked, electoral violence had the potential to erode the positive gains Zambia has achieved in democratic governance since the introduction of multiparty politics in 1991 for which the country is admired world over.

“This commission of inquiry is critical in helping us get to the root of the electoral violence that has been witnessed in our country in the recent past particularly during the 2016 general elections.

“We have to ask questions such as ‘what happened, where it happened, who was involved and who the victims are? After this, we will have to analyse the evidence that will be submitted to us by various people, and thereafter recommend concrete measures to prevent such occurrences in future,” Justice Lisimba said.

He observed that when there is violence during elections, voters fear to go out and cast their votes and this could seriously undermine the country’s democracy.

Justice Lisimba noted that the apparent inclination for some people to resort to violence whenever aggrieved was lawless and unacceptable as grievances should be resolved in the courts of law and not through violence.

He urged the general public to come forward and make submissions to the Commission when it starts its public hearings at Nakatindi Hall in Lusaka on Monday.

“The commission will hold public hearings at Nakatindi Hall at the civic centre in Lusaka for three days from Monday to Wednesday. I urge members of the public to come forward and make submissions to the Commission. The Commission will later move to other townships in the capital city,” he said.

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