31 January 2013

Zambia: Broken Promise - PF Prints Ballots Papers in UK

President Michael Sata came into office on the wave of massive promises that unfortunately could not be delivered within the set 90 days of assuming power.

Even before that 90 days elapsed, President Sata added more promises, one of which was an end to printing ballots papers outside the country.

During a public function shortly after being ushered into office, President Sata assured that was the last time ballot papers were being printed outside the country.

However, there have been more than five by-election since that promise and ballots are being printed in the United Kingdom where the PF is allegedly ordering more such material for rigging the elections in their favour.

Yesterday, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced it will print ballot papers for the Mpongwe and Livingstone by-elections in England as political parties gear to conduct nominations for the two parliamentary by-elections today. The by-election and 25 local government elections will be held on February 28.

ECZ senior public relations officer Silvia Bwalya confirmed that the ballot papers will be printed by a company called Smith & Usman despite Government Printers saying it had the capacity to do so.

ECZ says they cannot print the ballot papers with Government Printers because they are not ready to undertake such a mammoth and sensitive assignment.

"It was a public tender and every local company was free to participate because a public tender as you know is open to the public. On the campaign process, we haven't heard anything (violent) so far and we hope it will be peaceful throughout," she said.

Bwalya said the nominations will start with UNIP followed by MMD then NAREP. The PF will then file its nominations and finally the UPND candidates.

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