Vice President Mutale Nalumango has defended the use of ballot papers bearing the date of 15th September, 2022 in the Kwacha and Kabushi parliamentary by-elections.
Pictures of the ballot papers in the two by-elections have been shared widely on Social Media bearing the date 15th September, 2022.
Responding to a question from PF Lunte Member of Parliament Mutotwe Kafwaya who wanted to know why the Electoral Commission of Zambia used old ballots for the two elections, Mrs. Nalumango said the legal battles that surrounded the two elections put the commission in an awkward position to make any amends.
Mrs. Nalumango has also dismissed allegations that the use of old ballot papers was a ploy to bar former Kabushi MP Bowman Lusambo and former Kwacha MP Joseph Malanji from taking part in the polls.
And Mrs. Nalumango said the UPND administration has continued to respect the Tenets of democracy owing to records both locally and on the international scene.
Mrs. Nalumango was responding to a question from leader of the opposition in parliament Brian Mundubile who wanted to know why the UPND had obliterated all institutions of governance such as the ECZ.
Meanwhile, Radio Phoenix reports that the Kwacha and Kabushi parliamentary by-elections have been characterized by low voter turnout.
In kwacha constituency, the majority of the 91 polling stations had not yet reached 50 voters as at 11:00 hours this morning, with over 64,000 eligible and registered voters.
Most of the polling stations visited by Phoenix News in some of the 7 wards among them Ipusukulo, Musonda, Kwacha, Lubwa and Riverside wards, were yet to finish the first strip of ballot papers that has a total of 50 with the highest, 43 voters at valley view stream 02, which has a total of 745 registered voters.
For kwacha resident Manford Mwenda, the election has seen huge voter apathy because most residents feel their candidate of choice is not participating in the election.
And speaking after casting his vote at valley view school at 10:35 hours, UPND candidate Charles Mulenga lamented the low voter turnout and attributed it to a lack of sensitization by the Electoral Commission of Zambia-ECZ- and a lack of understanding by the electorate that staying away only disadvantages them.
And Leadership Movement candidate Professor Oliver Silumbe says it will be challenging for whoever will win the election to work with the people because of how the election has been handled from the postponement, alleged unprofessionalism from the judiciary, selfish motives by some politicians and a lack of sensitization of the electorate, all leading to low voter turnout.
Economic Freedom Fighters candidate Ashan Jayawardene did not cast her vote as she is not a registered voter in kwacha while independent candidate Lawrence Kasonde is scheduled to vote at 14:00 hours at CBU with Shadreck Mumba of the united prosperous and peaceful Zambia not reachable by broadcast time.
And in Kabushi Constituency, some of the electorate talked to say they have decided to shun the elections because their preferred candidate was not taking part in the polls while some say they have voted in order to have representation in parliament.
UPND candidate Bernard Kanengo cast his vote at 7:30hrs at Kaloko polling station, Independent candidate Richard Kalasa is not a registered voter in Kabushi Constituency while independent candidate Alfred Yombwe and leadership movement Osias Telela were unreachable by broadcast time.
And Non-Governmental Organization Center for Governance President Patrick Mutanga has described the low turnout as a silent boycott by the electorate in Kabushi Constituency.
Mr. Mutanga has also expressed concern over the lack of monitoring agencies for three participating candidates saying only non-governmental organization observers and UPND are present in polling stations.