Counting of votes in Chadiza Constituency was yesterday delayed for over two hours to allow for verification of the ballots after a parliamentary independent Candidate, Obet Phiri complained of the results being cooked up.
The situation forced the election staff to stop the verification of ballots from 18:24 hours to 20:30hours from the remaining 20 polling stations to verify the already announced 53 polling stations.
Mr. Phiri complained that the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) taken by his team indicated that he was leading but wondered why the Returning Officer records showed that he was third from PF and UPND.
“According to the PVT done by my team, am leading by over 1,000 votes but why are they announcing that am in third position,” he lamented.
And to allow for a fair and transparent process, Returning Officer Kabange Masenga called for a stop to the verification of the remaining 20 polling stations, to allow for verification from the 53 polling stations that were already counted.
“There is a complaint from one of the candidates, Mr. Obet Phiri that some numbers have been manufactured in here. So I’ve been advised by the Police that we stop this process and attend to the plight of the complainant who claims we have manufactured numbers in here,” he said.
After the verification was done, it was found that the figures were actually correct and the independent candidate was requested to calm down his supporters at the totaling centre, who were showering unpalatable language to Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) officials.
However, verification of ballots for the remaining 20 polling stations has continued and the final results will be announced once ballots for the last polling station are verified.
And out of the 53 polling stations that have been counted in the presidential election United Party for National Development (UPND), Hakainde Hichilema is leading with 11,309 against 8,051 votes for President Edgar Lungu of Patriotic Front (PF).
And at parliamentary level, PF’s Jonathan Daka is leading with 7,015 votes, while Yamikan Phiri of UPND is second with 6,484 votes and independent Obet Phiri is third with 6,388
Others are Aaron Banda of Socialist Party who polled 263, Olivia Phiri of PAC amassed 212 and Zulu Chaka of the MMD with 192 votes.