The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has implored all political parties and civil society organizations (CSOs) to sensitize their members on how the results from each polling station will be managed during this year’s presidential and general elections slated for August 12, 2021.
The commission observed that while the trend has been having parallel voting tabulation and other mechanisms political parties used to collect results, it was important that they each field agents at all polling stations for collection of correct results.
During a press briefing in Dubai yesterday, ECZ Vice Chairperson Emily Sikazwe said the commission would ensure that stakeholders, especially political parties, field agents at all polling stations so that whatever figures they collect is what the commission has as opposed to wrong data.
Dr. Sikazwe stated that the commission wants to demystify the result management system which is always in contention among stakeholders among them political parties who have always disputed certain outcomes.
The ECZ Vice Chairperson, who also distributed electoral materials on the electoral process to representatives of political parties, CSOs, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Drug Enforcement Commission, police and the media, said it was important that the role of education is not only restricted to ECZ but becomes everyone’s responsibility.
She noted that in addition to the ongoing voter education on issues such as corruption, the voting process and other important election related matters, the engagement of stakeholders is very important for achieving a credible election.
Dr. Sikazwe, who also welcomed another team of officials led by Commissioner Ali Simwinga from the Electoral Commission (ECZ) to take over the process of monitoring of the printing of ballot papers in Dubai from her team which is scheduled to return to Zambia, said it was gratifying that there was commitment and dedication among stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Dr. Sikazwe has described the progress made on the printing of ballot papers as on course and that the completion date will be met.
Dr. Sikazwe said the process of compiling and sealing in readiness for onward transportation to Zambia would soon commence.
She has since implored political parties to remain vigil by asking as many questions as possible.
And in giving an update on the printing progress, ECZ Director of Electoral Operations, Royd Katongo said as of yesterday, the presidential ballot papers printing was at 42 percent from yesterday’s 27 percent while for the mayoral, which was at 79 percent is now at 92 percent, covering 109 out of the 116 districts.
The printing of parliamentary ballots has reached 62 percent from yesterday’s 52 percent covering 101 constituencies out of 156.
Mr. Katongo disclosed that the printing of the councilors ballot papers was steadily progressing for the 1,858 wards, whose number has now reached 450, representing 29 percent from the previous day’s 18 percent.
He said the overall printing progress for the whole four electoral print type of ballot papers was now standing at 56 percent.
He has since expressed optimism that the printing was on course to finish by the end of July 28th 2021.
He said only two provinces were remaining with the verification process, which is expected to be finished later today by the 16 political parties sitting in Lusaka.