The printing of Mayoral and Council Chairperson ballot papers by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is now complete.
ZANIS reports that ECZ Director for Electoral Operations Royd Katongo confirmed the development in Dubai today.
Mr Katongo said the printing company has now started the process of stapling and binding the ballot papers for the combined 116 councils, cities and municipalities.
“Today we confirm that there is progress on the printing of Mayoral and Council Chairperson ballots which have been completed by the printer. What is remaining is stapling, cutting and packaging them according to each respective polling station and district,” Mr Katongo said.
Mr Katongo also said the printing of national assembly ballot papers was progressing well for the 156 constituencies, as well as the presidential ballot papers that were signed off for printing yesterday.
He however indicated that the Commission has since resumed the verifying of local government ballot papers in readiness for printing which was suspended to pave way for the presidential and national assembly ballot papers.
“We had suspended the verifying of the local government ballot papers as they were bulky whose remaining number is 1,099 wards out of total 1,858 wards in the country. This excludes those that have gone through unopposed and have cases of deaths or resignation. So far, we have verified 759 wards,” he stated.
Mr Katongo also said the printing of other election material such as the results announcement forms and posters has also commenced.
“Printing of the famous GEN 20, the form used by polling officers to announce results has started and as well as posters for stations. The posters are different languages for respective districts,’’ he disclosed.
The Senior Electoral Officer said the Commission will ensure it prints adequate materials which will be sufficient for use during the elections.
Mr Katongo explained that all election material that require security features are being printed by the Al Ghurair Company in Dubai owing to its capacity and experience in security feature printing.
And ECZ Head of Procurement Dabson Mwale revealed that other than the contract awarded to the Dubai based firm, the commission has spent over K40 million on Zambian based companies for printing of other non-security election materials.
“If anything, the commission has contracted over 10 Zambian companies to provide ECZ with materials which have been used since the voter registration started last year. To date K40 million has been spent on local companies who printed election materials that do not require security,” Mr Mwale said.
Among some material being printed by Zambian companies include, posters, brochures, electoral regulations braille and sign language.
Meanwhile, ECZ Vice Chairperson Emily Sikazwe announced that the United Party for National Development (UPND) has sent another party representative Richard Njolomba who initially was supposed to have joined the team from the initial commencement of the monitoring of ballots in Dubai.
Dr Sikazwe however said the other representative, Linda Nkonde will now have to withdraw as the guidelines set out by ECZ is that only one representative is supposed to join the monitoring team.
She said the commission wishes to have other political parties witness the process of printing the ballot papers in Dubai.
The printing of ballot papers commenced on Monday July 5, 2021 by Al Ghurair Printing Company, which was awarded the US$3.6 million contract by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and is expected to have the materials printed by the end of July, 2021.