The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has assured political parties in the country that it has put in place security measures which will protect all votes cast in the August 12, 2021 presidential and general elections.
ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano stated that the commission is alive to concerns raised by political parties and other stakeholders in the past regarding issues of security of votes during an election.
Mr. Nshindano explained that the commission has introduced security features on forms such as the famous GEN 20, which is used to declare winners and record results.
He explained that there are now new security features that will make it difficult for one to reproduce or even photocopy form GEN 20.
He said this in Dubai today during an inspection of completed packaged pellets of printed ballot papers at Al Ghurair Printing Factory in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E).
The inspection team was led by ECZ Chairperson Justice Esau Chulu.
Mr. Nshindano has meanwhile warned that being found with a GEN 20 before the announcements of results is a crime as it is a security document.
He said this information was important for political parties to know.
Mr. Nshindano said political parties and their agents must acquaint themselves with the way ECZ has packaged ballot papers and other materials contained in the boxes.
The ECZ Chief Electoral Officer has since urged political parties know features of packaged ballot papers and other materials so as not to accuse the commission of things that are not there.
He pointed out that past insinuations and assertions of vote rigging, casting of votes by people not registered and the number of people that voted being more than those that turned up at a polling station should not arise this time.
Mr. Nshindano added that to tackle what is perceived as ghost voters, the commission will provide a voters’ list in addition to the voters’ registers for each particular polling station.
He said political agents at respective polling stations should also be able to note the serial numbers of boxes and verify the contents as they arrive.
He said all these measures have been instituted to ensure the vote is protected so that the commission does not get unnecessary allegations.
Meanwhile, Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company is set to dispatch the first completed 40 pellets of ballot papers from Dubai to Zambia by plane.
The first batch is expected to arrive in Lusaka on Wednesday, 28 July, 2021.
A total of 160 pellets containing the ballot papers will be dispatched to Zambia and will be transported in sets of 40 pellets in each consignment.
The transportation process is expected to end by the weekend.
The pellets have been packaged according to constituencies. The number of pellets each constituency will receive vary according to the population size and number of polling stations.