We wish to commend the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for responding positively to Government's invitation to observe the upcoming general elections next month.
The EU EOM yesterday deployed a 32-man observer mission ahead of the elections on August 12.
In his annual interaction with heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Zambia, which was held virtually on March 23, 2021, President Edgar Lungu said the Government would send invitations to election observers who wished to monitor this year's election in Zambia.
The deployment of the EU EOM Long-Term Observers (LTOs), which will no doubt be followed by the deployment of groups from other international, regional and local institutions, will render credibility to the upcoming elections.
Not only that, this should give confidence to the political stakeholders participating in the elections so that they respect the results which would reflect the will of the electorate.
The EU EOM observer mission, which was yesterday deployed to all the 10 provinces, will be led by chief observer Maria Arena, is a member of the European Parliament from Belgium.
She is expected in Zambia next week.
The mission will also have 32 short-term observers who will be recruited locally to join the initial group.
The mission will issue a preliminary statement of its findings 48 hours after voting day.
The deployment of the EU EOM coincides with the completion of printing of presidential ballot papers for the presidential and general elections in Dubai.
According to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), the presidential ballot papers were by yesterday being pre-packed in readiness for dispatch to Zambia.
The overall printing of the four main types of election materials, namely mayoral, council chairpersons, National Assembly and local government, has, as of yesterday, reached 88 per cent.
In keeping with the goal of delivering transparent, free and fair elections, the Government made it possible for political party representatives and other stakeholders to monitor the printing of the electoral materials together with ECZ officials in Dubai.
It should be noted that monitoring the elections should not only be left to the Government, local and foreign observers and political parties alone, but should also be the concern of every voter in the country.
This is the only way people will feel to be part and parcel of the electoral process by ensuring that they cast their vote because it is their fundamental right to decide who should lead them.
By being alert as they vote, having analysed who they feel should be voted for, the people supposed to be the focus of the electoral process who must strengthen the process and influence the end of vices like voter apathy and electoral violence.
Together with the Government, which is duty bound to create an enabling environment for transparent, free and fair elections, Zambians must work towards sustaining the country's democratic credentials.