UPND doubts Zambia’s ability to print ballot papers locally

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 14:05:56 +0000




ZAMBIA is not ready to print the 2021 presidential and general ballot papers and other election materials, United Party for National Development (UPND) Spokesperson Charles Kakoma has said.

Mr Kakoma said Zambia had no capacity to print election material locally.

President Edgar Lungu on Wednesday announced that he would ensure that 2021 presidential and general ballot papers will be printed locally by Government Printers to save costs.

Zambia has over the years procured ballot papers and other election materials from Dubai, South Africa, UK and as far as Israel.

But Mr Kakoma told the Daily Nation in an interview that promises of printing ballot papers locally had been made in the past by the Patriotic Front (PF) government including other governments and that nothing had come out of them.

He charged that Government Printers was in shambles and had no equipment to print election materials in 2021.

“We have heard those pronouncements before and nothing has come out of them, there is nothing new. Zambians are tired of these promises.

“Why is President Lungu  even concentrating on the 2021 elections, let him deliver on his other promising, rather than promise people that the ballot papers will be printed in Zambia, when we know that it will never happen.

He added that what the country needed most was a credible and transparent electoral system and not mere promises.

Mr Kakoma said even if the ballot papers were to be printed locally, the fear of PF rigging will always be there.

“What is required now is to put in place a credible and transparent electoral system that will ensure that it remove all the suspicion about printing and distribution of ballot papers, without transparency whether they print those papers abroad or locally, we will not remove the fears of rigging.

“Even locally they can print more ballot papers and use them to rig, so the solution is not just to print locally but to have a transparent electoral system,” he said.

Meanwhile, Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) National Secretary Raphael Nakachinda has welcomed President Lungu’s pronouncement to print the 2021 election materials in the country.

Mr Nakachinda said he was confidence that the President would deliver onto his promise.

“We are aware that similar pronouncements have been made before, but we have hope that President Lungu will fulfil his promise. Just like the way he made Zambians proud by delivering a new Constitution, we are very confident that he will deliver even this time around,” Mr Nakachinda said.

He said printing of ballot papers locally would help clear suspicions of rigging, as all stakeholders including the Zambian people would be able to monitor the process.

“If ballot papers are printed locally everyone will have a feel that they are in full control and they are monitoring the process themselves,” he said.

Mr Nakachinda also noted that printing the materials locally would help the country save a lot of money, saying that the country was spending carousal sums of money to print the materials abroad.


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