FODEP has disclosed that it plans to deploy a total of 5,000 citizen election monitors in 96 constituencies spread across all the 10 provinces of Zambia during the August 11, 2016 general elections.
FODEP Acting Executive Director Chimfwembe Mweenge said his organisation is confident that the monitors will be adequately equipped to watch the poll, as they have gone through an intensive training programme.
Mr Mweenge said the training programme covered themes such as democracy, elections and the electoral cycle including the foundation of an electoral process, free and fair elections and benchmarks or standards for democratic elections.
“Other topics included, constitutional, legal and institutional frameworks for general elections and constitutional referendum in Zambia, code of conduct for non-partisan citizen observers and the introduction to the theory and practice of election observation,” Mr Mweenge said.
He said there is no doubt that the forthcoming general election has potential to be controversial, given the divergence of opinion on many issues by stakeholders.
“We therefore believe FODEP’s presence at polling stations may minimize fraud and ensure that electoral official act according to the law. This is cardinal to safeguard the will of the people and ensure that the outcome of the election is acceptable to all stakeholders.”
“FODEP wishes to reiterate its call on the ECZ to address concerns of stakeholders, to act independently so as to ensure a free, fair and credible election in August. On our part we will play our part as electoral watchdogs and point out any anomalies we will encounter in the electoral process without any fear or favour in the interest of our democracy,” he said.