THE Commission of Inquiry on political violence says it is saddened by the Patriotic Front’s decision to shun a meeting it called for political parties.

Out of 40 political parties which were invited for the meeting today, December 16, 2016, only UPND and MMD attended; annoying the commissioners.

When 10 commissioners, led by commission chairperson Justice Munalula Lisimba arrived at Government Complex to conduct the meeting, they were visibly embarrassed by the low turnout.

When it was established that the PF was not among the two parties present, Justice Lisimba wondered why the PF would shun such a meeting when the inquiry was instituted by their party president.

“We invited all the 40 political parties in the country and it’s very sad that only two have managed to make it, it is even more unfortunate that the PF have decided to shun this important meeting because the appointment of the commission was done by the President who also happens to be their party president,” Justice Lisimba said.

He urged all political parties which shunned the meeting  to be serious with national events.

“It is not good enough where you invite 40 political parties to a meeting and only two manage to show up. If the absence by PF is intended to undermine the commission, then that is very wrong unless there was a breakdown in communication,” said Justice Lisimba.

“This is wrong in principle and the commission will conduct an investigation to find the root cause as to why 38 out the 40 political parties decided not to attend this meeting when we had communicated to everyone about it.”

However, when commission secretary Nzovwa Mwela contacted the PF secretariat to find out why they were absent, they claimed that although they were in receipt of a letter from the commission, it had not been opened because it was addressed to PF secretary general Davies Mwila who was apparently out of the country.

Meanwhile, UPND international relations chairman Mulondwe Muzungu said people shunned the meeting because they believed it was irrelevant.

“We as UPND are still skeptical about the relevance of this commission but we have decided to give it the benefit of the doubt that is why we are here,” said Muzungu.