The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has completed the verification process of ballot papers for the August 12, 2021 general elections.
ECZ Acting Chief Electoral Officer, Royd Katongo said the Commission invited various political parties, Civil Society Organisations, the media among other stakeholders to witness the process.
Mr. Katongo was speaking during the verification process of ballot papersat the ECZ Warehouse in Silverest of Chongwe District,
He said the process is meant to verify and ensure that all the necessary documents for the August 12, 2021 elections are in the boxes before being distributed to other provinces.
Mr. Katongo stated that they only sampled ballot papers from one polling station from each of the 10 provinces due to nature of how they were packed.
He explained that the ballot papers have been packed in such a way that all documents for a particular constituency have been put in one pallet.
“The ballot papers have been packed per constituency, meaning that all the polling stations for a particular constituency, have been packed in a particular pallet. So the stakeholders together with ECZ have agreed to sample one box from a pallet of their choice from all the provinces,” Mr. Katongo indicated.
He further explained that each box for particular polling station, has ballot papers for all the four elections types which includes presidential, National Assembly, Mayoral or Chairperson as well as Councillor.
Mr. Katongo added that other materials include posters, Gen.20 and a list of registered voters for a specific polling station among the documents being checked.
Meanwhile, Ballot Papers Validation Committee Chairperson, Edwin Zulu noted that the political parties are satisfied with the validation process which he said was transparent.
Mr. Zulu indicated that no mistakes were found from all the boxes inspected as the necessary materials were intact and rightly packed.
“So far, so good because we have not found any mistake and everything is in order. We are happy and want to commend ECZ for the job well done,” Mr. Zulu stated.
And ECZ Vice Chairperson, Emily Sikazwe was happy that the stakeholders were satisfied with the materials received.
Ms Sikazwe said the Commission had done its part of availing the ballot papers, hence tasked political parties to ensure that they enhance voter education to avoid voter apathy.
“We are very grateful to you for undergoing this process to your satisfaction, we are partners in this and together we can make our elections credible,” Ms. Sikazwe stated.
The verification process at the ECZ warehouse has since been completed and the Commission, is expected to start distributing the ballot papers to other parts of the country by next week.