State House has asked those interested to know the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into voting patterns and electoral violence of the 2016 general elections to visit Government Printers and get a copy because it is already public information.
Three years ago, President Edgar Lungu appointed a Commission of Inquiry led by retired Supreme Court Judge Munalula Lisimba to investigate the leading cause of electoral violence and the voting patterns of all general elections between 2006 and 2016.
And following the submission of the report to the President by the Commission on January 31 this year, the opposition UPND, NDC, Transparency International Zambia, Christian Churches Monitoring Groups (CCMG) and ActionAid among other stakeholders demanded the release of the findings to the public.
“We want to know really where the source of these fights were coming from, all of us are interested and the worst part of it, we are heading towards another major election in 2021, which is roughly about 23 months away. So, if we don’t know the findings of the Lishimba Commission, we may fall back to the same trap. President Lungu cannot spend all that kind of money on an Inquiry, which has gone nowhere. So, are we right to conclude that it was just a scheme to give money to his chosen people? We demand that he must release it immediately before we start shooting in the dark,” demanded NDC vice-president Josephs Akafumba last month.
But reacting to the demands, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe told News Diggers! in an interview that those wishing to know the findings of the Lisimba Commission of Inquiry should get themselves copies of the document from Government Printers.
Chipampe said the report had become a public document the day the President received and “launched” it.
“That information you are asking for, I have just asked around here (State House) [and I have been told] it’s public information. So just go to Government Printers and get the report, it’s for the public. The President has already launched that report and when the President launches [something], then you just get it from Government Printers. When he (the President) launches, it becomes a public document. So you go to Government Printers and you can buy a copy of the document. The President did launch it, it was presented to him and once it’s presented to him, that’s it. So you can just get a copy from Government Printers, that’s what I have been advised here,” said Chipampe.