President Edgar Lungu has directed the Electoral Commission of Zambia to be at the centre of the upgrade of the Government Printers so that ballot papers for the 2021 elections can be printed in Zambia.
President Lungu said there is enough time between now and 2021, in which the Government Printers can be upgraded to acceptable international standards so that ballot papers are printed locally.
The Head of State noted that printing ballot papers locally will create jobs for local people as opposed to creating jobs for others by printing ballot papers abroad.
He added that besides creating jobs for Zambians, printing ballots papers locally is a huge saving for the country as too much resources are spent on the exercise abroad.
ZANIS reports that the President was speaking at State House today during the swearing in ceremony of Annette Nhekairo as Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Vice Chairperson and Ali Simwinga as ECZ Commissioner.
The President advised the electoral body to ignore criticisms from some stakeholders who are opposed to printing ballot papers either abroad or locally because of their alleged insecurities.
“Let’s get the ballots be printed in Zambia, don’t listen to those people who keep on changing goal posts. When you print ballot papers in South Africa, the say there is a scope for rigging, you go to Dubai they say there is a scope for rigging. You come to Zambia they also say there a scope for rigging, so where do they want us to print the ballot papers? Let’s print the papers here, and our printers will endeavor to improve their skills so that they are equal to the task,” stated the President.
The President said his government will make available resources required for the upgrade of the Government Printers to ensure that the facility is ready to print ballots for the forthcoming elections.
The President encouraged the newly sworn in ECZ Vice Chairperson and the Commissioner to work diligently for Zambians and use Zambian resources for Zambians.