A total of 30 million ballot papers are expected to be printed by Al Ghurair Publishing and Printing Company, the firm contracted by the Electoral Commission of Zambia(ECZ) to print ballot papers in Dubai, for this year’s August 12, general elections.
ZANIS reports that Al Ghurair General Manager, Lakshmanan Ganapathy revealed today that the targeted copies of ballot papers to be printed for the four categories in the elections, is 30 million ballot papers whose contract is US$3.6 million United States dollars.
He said each of the categories which include presidential, parliamentary, mayoral/council chairperson and councilors will have 7.5 million ballot papers printed for the entire elections.
Mr Ganapathy was speaking during a conducted tour of the plant for the second ECZ monitoring team led by ECZ Commissioner, Eli Simwinga which arrived yesterday.
Mr Ganapathy stated that the company which has also started the process of digitally putting serial numbers on ballot papers, is also intensifying the printing and packaging of what has so far been completed.
He also commended ECZ for being one of the most organized electoral bodies on the African continent.
Mr Ganapathy pointed out Zambia and Kenya, as some of the countries that have the best electoral commissions which the company, has dealt with on the African continent and has never faced challenges with them.
And Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), has commended the media in Zambia for the manner, it is collaborating in disseminating information on the electoral process in the country.
ECZ Commissioner, Ali Simwinga said the media both in Dubai and Zambia are contributing greatly in ensuring the nation is informed on the printing process of ballot papers currently underway by Al Ghurair Publishing and Printing Company to the satisfaction of the commission.
“ The distinguished manner the electoral process has been handled by the media, demonstrates their commitment and dedication to provide correct and accurate information to Zambians on the process,” he said.
He further said ECZ is confident that the printing of ballot papers by the company was in capable hands owing to the vast experience it has and will complete the process on time.
Meanwhile, the Commission said the overall printing of the four types of election ballot papers in readiness for this year’s polls slated for August 12, has reached 65 percent by the Dubai based firm.
Giving an update on the progress made so far in printing the papers, ECZ Director in Charge of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), Dylan Kasonde said the printing of the presidential ballot papers which was yesterday at 42 percent, now stands at 55 percent.
“The printing of mayoral and council chairperson is still at 92 percent, and the Commission is still waiting for the other seats where candidates are filing in fresh nominations,” he explained.
He added that this also includes other election types where fresh nominations are taking place today.
Mr Kasonde further disclosed that the printing of ballot papers for 156 parliamentary candidates had reached 82 percent whilst those for local government ward councilors is now at 30 percent from yesterdays’ 18 percent.
Mr Kasonde, who declined to give the projection of works in the next coming days, said the nine percent increase in the whole process was good enough as only 35 percent of the works is remaining.
He reiterated the commission’s heightened collaborative efforts with political parties and ECZ staff in Lusaka so that the verification process of local government candidate’s papers is quickened.