Minister of Justice for Zambia, Given Lubinda said government will implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into voting patterns and electoral violence, only when the proposed amendment bill number ten of 2019 is put into law.
The bill according to Lubinda, is a guideline to the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry, further the bill is said to address other sectors which the commission of inquiry recommended such as Political Parties Bill and the Electoral process.
Meanwhile, the Southern African Center for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) noted that there is need to ensure that all the recommendations are observed by all stakeholders to ensure peaceful transition in general elections.
Patriotic Front -PF- Deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri said the party leadership has guided its members not to retaliate to provocation especially in national elections.
In 2016 Political campaigning in Zambia’s capital was suspended for 10 days because of violent clashes, just few days into the elections. Political violence has resulted in injury, loss of life and property.
Kaizar Zulu a Zambian citizen stressed the importance of implementing bill 10.
“This is very timely advice. The issue of electoral violence is something that needs addressing. More so, as long as UPND is in existence. The levels of violence have risen with the increase in losses experienced by the UPND. This is a result of their desperation and frustration. This is then manifested in violent acts and subsequent claims of vote rigging and running to courts. I agree with the learned minister that Bill 10 needs to be implemented as soon as possible. We know it will pass through the house,” said Kaizar Zulu.
Some citizens however expressed vice opinions to the implementation of the bill citing that violence experienced in national election does not need amendment bills to stop, as the president has all power within his jurisdiction to end electoral or political violence.
“What has bill 10 got to do with a commission of inquiry into voting patterns? Sad as it may be, half of our provinces vote based on your tribe,” said FuManchu
“That PF seems bent on enacting Bill 10, everyone must smell a rotting fish concealed somewhere The President can stop the violence if he means well without Bill 10 and the hair picking from Bill 10 is partly lifting the veil from the face of the citizenry! Where is the report on voting patterns that earned some people allowances for an already predetermined prejudiced conclusion?” FuManchu said.
Further Chiza Chirwa, completely dismissed the implementation of bill 10, as a panacea to violence, as the country has laws and security sectors that are in existence to maintain peace and curb violence.
“ it is folly and lunacy of the highest order to state that enacting Bill 10 will address electoral violence.
What are the police for? What are criminal laws for? Surely, these ought to be enough to prevent violence. It’s like saying we need Bill 10 to curb murder, theft, and everything else during elections,” Chiza Chirwa
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News Correspondent