The first batch of 95 pallets for 40 constituencies containing ballot papers for next month’s August 12th 2021 general elections are expected to arrive in Zambia on July 28th 2021 at approximately 12.40 hours Zambia time aboard an Emirates Sky Cargo air plane.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says there will be four flights to airlift the ballot papers whose schedule has been sprayed over three days, with the first batch of pallets arriving in Zambia on Wednesday July 28th 2021, to be followed by the second consignment on Thursday July 29th aboard two planes on same day, and the last dispatch will be on Friday July 30th.
Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano announced today in Dubai that the printer as of yesterday Monday, had transported the pallets for 40 constituencies to the airport for screening and other formalities as per that country’s protocols in readiness for dispatch on Wednesday, July 28th 2021 aboard an emirate’s cargo plane.
“Packaging including the first batch which we did see yesterday was taken to the airport. Its currently under quarantine as per advised in readiness for transportation,” Mr Nshindano announced.
Mr Nshindano addressing stakeholders at Al Ghurair Printing factory stated the pallets will leave Dubai international airport in the early hours of Wednesday, 28th July, aboard Emirates Sky Cargo flight number EK9542, and is expected to touch down at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at 12.40 hours Zambian time.
“The first flight which will depart in the early hours from Dubai, will arrive tomorrow at 12.40 hours and the commission will be sharing with you as stakeholders the list of what is packaged in the pellets,’’ he said.
The Chief Electoral Officer explained that the transportation of the second and third batch of pallets for 80 constituencies will be dispatched on Thursday,29th of July, 2021 aboard two cargo planes under the same carrier and will arrive at 12.40 hours.
Mr Nshindano further added that the last consignment of pallets for the last 40 constituencies will be dispatched on Friday 30th July, 2021 and will arrive on the same day by 12.40 hours the same day, concluding the exercise of dispatching the election ballot papers for four election type.
“We are going to have to two flights on 29th July which should arrive on the same time as well and the last flight will be on the 30th Friday. In total we are going to have four flights and this will mark the end of that exercise,’’ he stated.
Mr Nshindano said the commission is already in the process of making arrangements to inform stakeholders in Zambia on formalities of who will receive and witness the consignment of pallets whose total tonnage is 49, 236 kilograms, as it arrives in the country.
Amongst the first constituencies to receive their pallets include Katuba, Keembe, Chisamba, Chitambo, Itezhi-Tezhi, Bwacha, Kabwe Central, Kapiri Mposhi, Mkushi South, Mkushi North, Mumbwa, Nangoma, Lufubu, Muchinga and Serenje.
The other constituencies are Mwembezhi, Chililabombwe, Chingola, Nchanga, Kalulushi, Chimwemwe, Kamfinsa, Kwacha, Nkana, Wisakile, Luanshya, Roan, Lufwanyama, Kafulafuta, Masaiti, Mpongwe, Kankoyo, Kantanshi, Mufulira, Bwana Mukubwa, Chifubu, kabushi, Ndola Central, Chadiza and Chapata central.
Meanwhile the Churches Coalition Monitoring Group (CCMG) has disclosed that the coalition will carry out a paralleled vote tabulation during this year’s polls based on random selected sites.
CCMG delegation leader Emmanuel Chikoya revealed during a stakeholder meeting in Duba with ECZ, that the organization is however facing challenges in accrediting monitors who are critical to the success of the PVT with respective districts managing the electoral process.
Father Chikoya appealed to the commission to consider extending the period of accreditation whose deadline is this on Friday July 30th 2021 and started on July 1st and standardize the requirements.
CCMG delegation leader Emmanuel Chikoya said whilst the commission had set a deadline, it was important stakeholders were given time to accredit as notification was not received good time.
Father Chikoya said the process in the past was not restrictive but would close a day before polls adding that district electoral officers were as well issuing conflicting positions on the accreditation process from that which is guided by ECZ.
In response, ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano noted the concerns raised by CCMG but explained that there were reasons for the commission to have set a deadline 12 days before the elections’ day.
Mr Nshindano said there were a number of aspects that the commission had looked at such as adequate time to screen applicants and verify their backgrounds so that they do not repeat past mistakes of accrediting people with questionable character.
Mr Nshindano said the commission had done enough notification of the process of accreditation which started at the time of holding nomination of candidates participating the elections, and that it was not fair to accuse the commission of wrong doing.
Mr Nshindano advised that it was important stakeholders adhere to the guidelines set by the commission in ensuring that they prepare adequately as the date of elections is well known in advance.