“Electoral controversy in Zambia unfortunate”

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |
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The electoral controversy that has ensued after the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced the successful bidder for the printing of the August 11, 2016 General Elections ballot papers is very unfortunate.

Unfortunate because some electoral principles outlined in the amended Constitution such as transparency and accountability seem to have been flouted by those supposed to respect them.

In as much as Section 3 of the Electoral Act No. 12 of 2006 states that “the Commission shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority”, Article 45 (2) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) No. 2 of 2016 demands respect of the principles such as free and fair, efficiency, transparency and accountability and timely resolution of electoral disputes in Zambia’s electoral process and system

The dictates of the Constitution cannot be overlooked by the Commission and in the respect of competitive electoral contests in the country, the Commission must listen to the concerns of major electoral stakeholders.

The fact that stakeholders have raised concerns on the printing process of ballot papers in Dubai by a Dubaian Printing Company, it means that ECZ must do more to ensure transparency and accountability in the printing process and bulldozing their way to Dubai will be against the principles of a credible electoral process in Zambia.

This controversy should also serve as a lesson to ECZ and electoral stakeholders to immediately find a lasting solution to this problem as it has become a perennial electoral problem every time there are elections.

To this end, I appeal to ECZ to call for an urgent Political Party Liaison Committee Meeting to deliberate on this matter and irony out sticky issues before the contract is signed with the controversial Dubaian Company to print the ballot papers for the August 11, 2016 General Elections.

On the economic front, it will be imprudent for the ECZ to insist printing ballot papers in Dubai because Dubai is one of the expensive world destinations. Unless the Commission wants to enjoy electoral tourism, the justification to go to Dubai to print ballot papers as opposed to the usual South Africa is not convincing and must be aborted immediately.

The Commission can use the surplus financial resources after the General Elections to embark on the decentralization of its offices to provinces and districts as provided for under Article 229(1) of the amended Constitution to ensure efficiency in the administration of the electoral process and system in Zambia as provided for article 45(c).

 

McDonald Chipenzi

Electoral Expert

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9 Responses to “Electoral controversy in Zambia unfortunate”

  1. Totally agree with you Chipenzi. You see I have a big problem with most Zambians who hold offices of control such as ECZ. Surely people (stakeholders) apart from the PF and Edgar Lungu have said NO to Dubai printing of voters registers. Why should a normal person go ahead against wishes of the participating majority in a democracy? Akufuna, Isaacs na kana kulu ka Judge something you mean you are only ones who can guide the voting in Zambia? If war was to break over such stupid decisions then we will not spare all those advocating for insane decision.

    Mainza
    April 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm
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  2. Myopic! that is the problem with rumour mongers,armchair critics who survive on half truth and plain lies – these seasoned crooks are messing zambia – we ought to deal with them severely. ECZ is in order period.

    Memories are still fresh in our minds, when sata’s PF made similar accusations after losing many times. May be it is a foregone conclusion that upnd shall lose& is creating fertile ground for chaos in the country.

    What will happen if say upnd wins – should we nullify the vote and call for fresh elections?

    Hatonga Hamonze
    April 20, 2016 at 1:47 pm
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  3. “WE @ ECZ DO NOT CARE,OUR DECISION IS FINAL.NO POLITICAL PARTY CAN FORCE US TO DO OTHER WISE.IF A PARTY IS NOT HAPPY WITH OUR DECISION,THEY CAN BOYCOTT AS UNIP DID.WE ARE NOT FORCING ANY ONE TO PARTICIPATE IN THESE ELECTIONS.OUR MANDATE IS TO CONDUCT ELECTIONS FULL STOP.”

    KAZEYA
    April 20, 2016 at 2:27 pm
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    • @Kazeya – you’re dangerously foolish. You have no future to think about, no wonder all the pf nonsense is bread and butter to you. I also doubt if you have any child to think for.

      Memphis Shew
      April 20, 2016 at 6:23 pm
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      • @Kazeya, maybe you do not work at ecz after all or maybe if you work there you are the ones that has been planted in by pf to rig election. Ecz is suppose to be independent, but unfortunately you seem not to understand the independence position of ecz. The independence of ecz does not mean that they can not listen or consider people’s concerns, but that they can not take sides or biased – being neutural. By refusing to consider the concerns of the majority stake holders, means that they have compromised the very independence they want to protect, serving the interest of pf, coz they are the ones who togather with ecz who want to print in soud arabia. Why print 20000 km from zambia? The thing tha nation wants to know. Coz it can be to secretly print extra ballots to be used in influencing the out come of the election.

        Life experience
        April 20, 2016 at 8:56 pm
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  4. Lunatics at ECZ want to set the country on fire, why on earth would a sane person decide to go and ballot papers in country where there is no democracy. Crazy ECZ

    Katongo
    April 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm
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  5. ECZ has no credibility at all, why Dubai and not SAfrica

    Hatonga
    April 20, 2016 at 2:39 pm
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  6. And taking all the political parties representatives to Dubai to witness the process will be more expensive than South Africa

    Bantustan
    April 21, 2016 at 8:52 am
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  7. Please lunatics dont crucify ECZ for goodness sake. One thing for sure is that whereever the Ballot papers will be printed, there will be somebody who would cry foul for one reason or the other. The truth of the matter is ” U WAWA TABULA KABEPESHO”. If for urgument sake the tender was given to Government Printers still the oppostion will cry foul that PF have a hand just like they claim with ZNBC, DAILY MAIL, TIMES OF ZAMBIA.

    When opposition and NGOs say stake holders were not consulted, they should not think of just themselves as stakeholders even the ruling Party is stakeholder and we the general citizenery as well are stake holder.

    UKULUSA KWENA BA OPPOSITION MUKALUSA FYE CLEAN

    PLEASE SELENIK PF IBOMBE

    PF HARDCORE
    April 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm
    Reply

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