The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will this Thursday dispatch copies of voters’ registers for the January 20 presidential election from South Africa to Zambia.
ECZ Director Priscilla Isaacs disclosed this in Johannesburg today when she paid a visit to Ren-Form, the company that was contracted to print ballot papers and other electoral materials for the presidential poll.
Mrs. Isaacs said ECZ will provide voters’ registers for all constituencies to all the 11 political parties contesting the election.
“We to are going to give those voters’ registers to each of the candidates who are participating in this elections for their use,” she said.
She said the ECZ decided to have the voters’ registers printed in South Africa because it had limited time to prepare for the election.
And Ren-Form sales director Jean-Pierre Du Sart said printing of voters’ registers, which started on 26 December 2014, will be completed tomorrow and dispatching for Zambia will start on Wednesday.
“We have arranged for the truck to arrive on Wednesday morning for loading to go off to the airport and so we will deliver the whole day on Wednesday and possibly on Thursday as well because there are quite a lot of pallets to deliver,” he said.
Mr. Du Sart also said the packaging of ballot papers was on course and projected that palletising in readiness for dispatch will be completed by Wednesday, January 7, 2015.
Meanwhile, some political parties and faith based organisations have defended Home Affairs Minister Ngosa Simbyakula’s presence as PF representative to observe the printing of ballot papers in South Africa.
MMD’s Peter Machungwa said it was unfair to attack Dr. Simbyakula because he was in South Africa in his capacity as a PF official and not as a minister.
Dr. Machungwa told journalists in Johannesburg today that each party had the right to select any party member to be its representative.
“The presence of Dr. Simbyakula will not influence anything in printing of ballot papers because all of us from different political parties have been working as a team and so it is unfair to attack him because he is here to represent a political party like everyone else, he said.
And Aaron Chilujika of the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia “(EFZ) said Dr. Simbyakula has conducted himself above board and has not in any way tried to use his position to interfere with the printing process of ballot papers.
They were reacting to sentiments by the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) that Dr. Simbyakula’s presence in South Africa had potential to influence the ballot paper printing process because of his position as Minister of Home Affairs.