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CANCELLATION OF THE KABWATA PARLIAMENTARY BY-ELECTION COSTLY AND UNFORTUNATE

Dear Editor,
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has cancelled the Kabwata parliamentary by-election slated for Thursday January 20, 2022. The cancellation of the poll came less than 24 hours prior to the arrival of the ballot papers which were recently printed in Dubai.


The cancellation followed the withdrawal of Mr. Francis Libanda of the United Progressive People’s Party. Mr. Libanda recently tendered his letter to the ECZ for withdrawing from the poll citing his reasons which ultimately culminated in the annulment of the forthcoming poll.


The printing of the ballot papers is done at a huge cost and this is a financial drain of the taxpayers’ money. This is very unfortunate in that it has happened at a time when the country is grappling with some economic challenges.


The cancellation implies that the fresh nominations have to be conducted and a new polling date has to be set.


In addition, the candidates have to pay fresh nomination fees; the male candidates will pay K15, 000 and the female candidates will pay K13, 500.
And the government through ECZ will have to print other ballot papers in Dubai. This is a very costly venture.


The candidates for the Kabwata by-election and their respective political parties have spent a substantial amount of money in the campaigns which have since been suspended.


Over and above everything else, the cancellation of the poll is a costly venture because more money has to be channeled to the holding of the rescheduled election. This is unfortunate.
ELEMIYA PHIRI,
Lusaka.

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