Commission of inquiry concludes ‘excellent’ Chongwe hearing

COMMISSION of Inquiry on voting patterns and electoral violence Chairperson Justice Munalula Lisimba (left) at the inaugural seating at Nakatindi Hall in Lusaka yesterday. Second left is acting Lusaka Province Permanent Secretary Mutinta Hachiboya and Commission Vice-Chairperson Mervis Chisanga. PICTURE: ANGELA NTENTABUNGA

THE commission of inquiry into voting patterns and electoral violence concluded its public sittings in Chongwe district on Thursday with a total of 20 substantive oral and written submissions from members of the public.
The commission will hold the next public sittings in North-Western Province next month.
In October 2016, President Lungu appointed a 15-member commission of inquiry to examine the causes of political violence before and after the August 11, 2016 general elections.
The commission will also inquire into the voting patterns between 2006 and 2016 and the root causes of these patterns.
The inquiry will also examine to what extent the pre-election political violence could have influenced the voting patterns in the August 11 general elections.
On Tuesday, the Justice Munalula Lisimba-led commission resumed sittings in Chongwe, where a cross-section of society presented submissions accompanied by recommendations.
Residents braved the rainy and chilly weather to make submissions to the commission, which sat at the civic centre.
Speaking to journalists after the conclusion of the three-day sittings on Thursday, Mr Justice Lisimba described the session as “excellent”.
“From the onset, our stay here has been excellent because we received an overwhelming response with a total of 20 submissions,” the retired Supreme Court judge said.
He described the turnout as “very good” and the 20 submissions it received as “substantive and qualitative”.
Mr Justice Lisimba also commended the media for adequately covering the sessions.
He called on the media to continue sensitising and educating the nation on the importance of making submissions to the commission.
Mr Justice Lisimba said the commission is not a Patriotic Front (PF) wing but an independent body which seeks to find the root cause of the electoral violence that characterised the August 11, 2016 general elections.
“People should feel free to come and make submissions,” he said.
Mr Justice Lisimba said the commission is expected to move to North-Western Province early next month.

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