Showing posts with label ECZ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ECZ. Show all posts

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Zambia Records 1.2 Million New Voters Ahead Of 2016 Polls

By Paul Shalala
Sylvia Bwalya

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has disclosed that it has registered 1, 2 46, 626 new voters ahead of the 2016 general elections.

Zambia already has 5, 166, 088 voters registered during the 2010 registration exercise which preceded the 2011 general elections.

This brings the total number of registered voters in Zambia to 6, 412, 714.

The ECZ embarked on a voter registration exercise from 11 September to 14 November with a target of capturing 1.5 million new voters.

With a shortfall of about 200, 000 voters to reach its target, the electoral body has announced an extension to the voter registration exercise to commence on 23 November to capture more voters.

ECZ Spokesperson Sylvia Bwalya also said 1, 235, 633 people updated their voter details while 23, 783 people on the old voters register were struck out on account of death.

She further released the provincial registrations as follows:

Lusaka Province: 241, 301 new registrations, 166, 461 updates and 2, 030 death notices.

Southern Province: 205, 259 new registrations, 184, 715 updates, and 2, 217 death notices.

Central Province: 138, 649 new registrations, 124, 850 updates, and 2, 205 death notices.

Eastern Province: 133, 786 new registrations, 136, 586 updates and 1, 727 death notices.

Copperbelt Province: 123, 039 new registrations, 150, 539 updates, and 2, 405 death notices.

Newly issued voters cards and National Registration Cards
Northern Province: 116, 016 new registrations, 98, 151 updates, and 3, 189 death notices.

Western Province: 97, 582 new registrations, 117, 812 updates, and 4, 408 death notices.

Muchinga Province: 77, 790 new registrations, 70, 392 updates, and 2, 066 death notices.

Luapula Province: 61, 000 new registrations, 97, 597 updates, and 2, 029 death notices.

North Western Province: 52, 204 new registrations, 88, 530 updates and 1, 507 death notices.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

NDI, FODEP Partner To Monitor Voter Registration Exercise

A registration officer issuing out a voters' card

By Paul Shalala

The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) and the United States-based National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) have partnered on a US$50, 000 project to monitor the on-going mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) and voters cards.

The two institution announced the development in Lusaka a day ago and this collaboration is not the first of its kind in the promotion of good governance in Zambia.

According to the draft strategy of the project dubbed "Go Out to Register," the campaign seeks to contribute to the increase of voter registration in 28 selected districts from nine of Zambia's 10 provinces.

Southern is the only province which will not be covered in the project.

The project will also try to promote the participation of key stakeholders to help increase turn out of eligible voters.

"Voter registration is vital to the public’s interest in establishing a government based on the people’s will and also vital to those who seek to gain public office as it is a key element for screening ineligible people out of the voting process and for identifying and credentialing eligible individuals so that they may have the opportunity to vote," said MacDonald Chipenzi, FODEP Executive Director during a press briefing.

He added: "it delights me to launch this very important projects aimed at contributing to a deepening democratization in Zambia through increased popular participation of citizens in the electoral process by contributing to the attainment of the registration of 1.7 million voters by 7th July 2016."
MacDonald Chipenzi

This project will be implemented in Lusaka, Rufunsa, Luangwa, Chiawa, Chinsali, Nakonde, Shiwangandu,  Senanga, Sesheke, Kazungula, Kasama, Mpulungu, Mbala, Luwingu, Kafulafuta, Ndola, Kitwe, Chililabombwe, Mufulira, Kapiri Mposhi Chisamba, Chibombo, Mansa, Mwense, Lubwe and Chembe districts.

And FODEP Civic Education Chairperson Clement Zulu has expressed concern that the third and fourth phases of the voter registration exercise will be held in the rain season which can affect turn out. 

"FODEP is cognisant of the fact that much of the 1.7million targeted new voters account for youths between the age of 17 and 35 years. To this end, FODEP will engage with schools and establish school chapters at which schools would compete with each other in a manner that sends messages to encourage young people to register. FODEP will also appreciate theatre and creative art to get its message across. A total of 480 volunteers will be empowered with voter education facilitation skills in 29 districts of the 7 provinces." said Mr Zulu.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) launched the voter registration exercise on 14th September, 2015 targeting to register 1.7 million new voters across the country by March, 2016.

The exercise is being done in four phases which will run as follows:

A voter displaying his voters' card in Luanshya
  •  First phase started on 14th September 2015 and runs for 14 days until 27th September, 2015.
  • Second Phase started on 29th September, 2015 and ended on 11th October, 2015. 
  • Third phase from 11 October 2015 to 25 October 2015
  • Fourth phase from 26 October to 11 November 2015
 In the first phase of the exercise, the ECZ announced that 301, 103 new voters were registered while thousands more had their lost or damaged voters' cards replaced.

The exercise has however been hampered in some provinces were thousands of potential first time voters can not register as they do not have NRCs.

The mobile issuance of NRCs is also been implemented in phases in the provinces. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

How ICTs Help Promote Transparency During Elections In Zambia

TIZ's PVT results for presidential elections
By Paul Shalala in Masaiti

In a democracy like Zambia's, transparency is a critical component to good governance.

In the political arena, campaigns and elections are supposed to be held in the most transparent manner if democracy is to be deemed mature.

But stories of vote buying, rigging, voter intimidation and several other electoral malpractices are common in most African countries.

In Zambia, most times when opposition political parties lose elections (including by-elections), stories of vote rigging are common.

But new technologies may soon prove to be a solution to the issue of transparency and good governance in Africa.

Since 2011, all elections in Zambia have come under scrutiny by the citizens through the use of Information Communications Technologies (ICTs).

With the latest figures showing that there are about 9 million Zambians who have registered their sim cards with the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), the use of these phones to get election updates has increased over the years.

According to ZICTA, 3 million of the 9 million phone owners have access to the internet and most Zambians use them for Facebook and Twitter.

PF's PVT results for Chawama
Through such ICT platforms like the Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) which the then opposition Patriotic Front (PF) used to monitor and ascertain the results of the 2011 General Elections, the use of ICTs has become an indispensable tool in elections in Zambia.

On September 11, 2014 the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) piloted the electronic transmission of results for the Kasenengwa parliamentary by-election in the Eastern province.

Using mobile phones and computers to collect and transmit results, the ECZ was able to announce final results within 12  hours of the last ballot having been cast.

This use of ICTs to collect election results made the declaration of the winner faster as opposed to the manual system were the ECZ relied on the Zambia Airforce to transport ballot boxes from remote areas to the collation center on Chipata which would have taken more time.

During the 20 January, 2015 presidential election, the civil society also used ICTs to monitor and update the nation on the election results.

For example, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) gathered election results per constituency and posted results on its Facebook page from time to time as seen in the screen shot above.

Millions of Zambia who are on Facebook, stayed glued online to get updates from TIZ, political parties, individuals and other civil society organisations who were posting results from their PVT centers.

And last week during the parliamentary by-elections in Chawama, Masaiti and Senga Hill, various political parties used mobile phones to gather election results from their dozens of polling agents who were spread across the polling stations in the three constituencies.

As can be seen in the screen shots from PF's Miles Sampa (above) and UPND's Honourable Cheche Kalala (right),  political parties compiled their respective election results before the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) announced its official results.

Cheche Kalala of UPND posting PVT results
These were authentic election results pasted outside polling stations after being officially announced by electoral officers at each polling station and sent back to each political party's PVT center in Lusaka by polling agents through Short Message Service (SMS).

Using this PVT system has proved to be so effective and political parties in Zambia even know before the ECZ announces its results as to who has won elections and with how many votes.

These ICT tools have also helped increase the confidence citizens have in the management of elections in the country.

With the citizens participating in verifying these election results using mobile phones and the internet, cases of rigging are now being done away with as voters can now compare results announced at each polling station and the official figures announced by ECZ at the collation centers.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Catholic Bishops Call On ECZ To Allow Voters Cast Ballots Anywhere

Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu
By Paul Shalala in Johannesburg, South Africa

Catholics Bishops in Zambia have called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia to find ways in which they can allow registered voters to cast their ballots anywhere they are within the country.

In an emailed press statement released today, Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) President Telesphore Mpundu says the ECZ must utilised the latest technology to allow voters exercise their rights.

Archbishop Mpundu says this move will help reduce voter apathy as witnessed in last month's Presidential election.

At the moment, voters can only vote in constituencies where they are registered and this mechanism has affected most people who find themselves outside their constituencies during elections.

He has also called for the ECZ and the Zambia Police to clamp down on violence during elections.

Below is the full statement:

Statement on the 20th January 2015 Presidential Election


On 20th January 2015, Zambians went to the polls to elect 6th Republican President following the demise of President Michael ChilufyaSata, on28th October 2014.May he rest in peace. We, the Catholic Bishops in Zambia, congratulate Mr. Edgar Lunguon his election as Zambia’s Sixth President. We wish God’s rich and abundant blessings in his leadership of the Zambian nation.Wecommend the other ten candidates who participated in the election for exercising their constitutional right to participate in one of our democratic processes.
We also congratulate the Zambian people and its electorate for once again demonstrating their maturing democratic culture and sailing through a very competitive election experience yet emerging true to our cherished national motto of ONE ZAMBIA ONE NATION. We did it in 1991, 1996, 2001, 2008, 2011 and 2015 each time in different circumstances. Wenote that in spite of the usual tension and challenges that characterize our electoral process we have once again successfully pulled through. This is, indeed, a record to be proud of. We pray and hope that now we will move forward together as a nation for the very reason that we hold elections, namely to provide a leadership framework that will improve the quality of life for all Zambians particularly the poor and weak in our society.
In this spirit, we call upon the Republican President and his administration to work towards national reconciliation and building.  He must not only talk but also, and more so, rise to the occasion, transcend partisan politics, act as President for all Zambians by working with all, even, and indeed especially with those who did not vote for him. The presidency and its administration is the fulcrum of our national unity.
We challenge the unsuccessful candidates to continue and heighten their very valuable contribution to the nation building by providing the much needed, effective and constructive checks and balances to those entrusted with the responsibility to govern this nation. At the end of the day it is the Zambia people and nation that will emerge as the winner not one political party. We therefore appeal to all Christians and all citizens to embrace the spirit f forgiveness and reconciliation as an invaluable legacy to bequeath our posterity.


In spite of its success, the 20th January 2015 presidential election event is a wake-up call to the flaw in the electoral process which, if left unchecked, poses a serious threat to our struggle to embrace constitutionalism at all levels of political organization and activity.

2.1                       Intraparty Democracy

In the run up to the presidential election, the process of selecting candidates particularly within major contending parties was fraught with controversy and conflict which spilledover and affected the lives of citizens who are not even members of those parties. It exposed glaring deficiencies of the political parties’ constitutions, the inability or unwillingness to adhere to constitutional provisions and blatant indiscipline resulting in a circus of litigations. Major political parties must always bear in mind that they are a Government-in-waiting. They therefore must acquit themselves and pass the litmus test in regard to constitutionalism and discipline within their own parties. The electorate will not entrust the instruments of governance to a Political Party that does not make the grade in this regard.  We therefore appeal to political parties to put their own houses in order before aspiring to assume the administration of our country.

2.2                       Campaign Messages

The Zambian people in general and the electorate in particular are tired of enduring but unfulfilled campaign promises. This has led to an almost total loss of confidence in the politicians and the consequential voter apathy. Aspirants to public office must be sincere and make realistic and achievable promises. The electorate on the other hand has the right to make their political leaders accountable for unfulfilled pledges.  This right must find room in our political process to be exercised by the citizenry.

2.3                       Political Violence

Political campaign is a democratic contest and sale of ideas on a political platform of how to propel the nation’s developmental agenda forward. Physical violence is an admission of fear or failure to impress and win the electorate. Prior to the election, we and leaders of other churches, spoke passionately on the need to observe peace before, during and after the election event.  We therefore denounce in the strongest terms the violence witnessed in the campaigns leading to the just ended 2015 presidential election. This violence is bound to tannish our so far respectable national democratic credentials. The law must be made to visit offenders, leaders or members of political parties that ensconce intra or/and inter party violence regardless of who they are because we are all equal before the law. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the police service must be given the necessary legal instruments to deal with offenders.  In this regard the police service must be above board in their non-partisan and professional conduct, thereby engendering and sustaining public confidence in the electoral process.

2.4                       Tribalism

Tribalism is a reality we can ignore at our peril. It cannot be ignored that apart from the very cosmopolitan areas of Lusaka and the Copperbelt, and to a certain extent the provincial capitals, the electorate has, since independence in 1964,naturaliry voted for a candidate they know from their own area or region. It is therefore unfortunate that the just ended presidential election has been perceived by some as tribally polarized with regard to the two front runners of the UPND and PF as if the pattern of voting as radically changed in the rural areas.  The truth of the matter, however, is that there is nothing new to the pattern. In fact there is a clear indication that Zambia is truly one nation and is challenging the traditional voting pattern.
The situation of 72 tribes in Zambia that speak 43 languages is not a curse on the nation but a singular blessing from God. Jesus the Son of God identifies himself with each and all of us, individually and tribally, created in the image and likeness of God. We must thank God for this rich cultural diversity that can only strengthen our nation through mutual appreciation and celebration of one another’sgiftedness. Zambia, fifty (50) years after independence, has so fast ethnically integrated that any politician who tries to pull a tribal card in pursuit of public office or to marginalize a political opponent is hopelessly antiquated. The choice of leaders to public office should be based on merit and not on tribe, race, colour or even political affiliation.

2.5 The Media

The Media is an indispensable and one of the pillars of viable and sustained democratic governance. In their vital role of informing and educating the public they must be scrupulously professional, objective, responsible, ethical and non-partisan. With regard to tribalism they should not exaggerate isolated incidents of tribalism, real or imagined, to funnel tribal tension. Zambians love peace and wish to live in harmony with one another. This is a delicate balance which ought to be nurtured, jealously guarded and protected. We therefore denounce the misuse of the public and social media to destroy instead of building the nation by empowering our people through accurate information rather than through misinformation and irresponsible sensationalism.

2.6           Chiefs, Traditional Leaders and Partisan Politics

We were greatly distressed that some traditional leaders, in spite of repeated calls by the ECZ for traditional leaders to refrain from using their authority to unduly influence the electoral choices of their subjects, openly and brazenly endorsed their preferred candidates. This was in contravention of the electoral code of conduct and the law that forbids traditional leaders to engage in partisan politics, and yet the offending leaders went scotch free. Traditional leaders are guardians of their subjects; they should therefore be proud of and protect the political diversity among their subjects’ constitutional right to vote for a candidate of their choice. Either the existing law is repealed or those found wanting are made to face the law. No one is above the law.

2.7                        Members of the Clergy

We are disconcerted by and severely reprimand those of our priests who gave platform to candidates to speak to their faithful during liturgical services, particularly holy mass, in manner that is indirectly or directly connected with campaigning. We also disparage the behaviour of those of our priests who openly or privately campaigned for their own preferred candidates or parties. Such priests tarnish the image of our church as a non-partisan “Prophetic voice in defense of the poor in order to uplift their lives”   and to work for the common good of all the people (Cf. Pope Francis’ Address to Catholic Bishops of Zambia during their Ad LiminaApostolorum Visit on 17th November 2014). Priests who indulge in partisan politics are in the political arena on their own; they have neither authorization nor backing from their diocesan Bishops. 

2.8                       Low Voter Turnout

The low voter turnout during January 2015 presidential election has been attributed mainly to the timing (in this case determined by the constitution) during the rainy and farming season. However, there are other reasons that contributed to the 34% voter turnout.The main factor to us seems to be voter apathy, the trend of which has been growing since the 1991 general elections. We call upon all stakeholders to identify and address the root cause as a matter of urgency because democracy is a game of numbers without which the legitimacy of the outcome of polls is seriously called into question. One of the ways to address this trend is to review our electoral laws. The pending review of the constitutional and parliamentary laws is an opportunity which should not once again pass us by.

2.9           CONLUSION

The January 2015 Presidential election provides uswith lessons to learn as we prepare for the 2016 tripartite elections:

·       We must expedite the Legal Reforms (Constitution and Statutory Regulation) to enable us to deal with such issues as the date of elections and the costly by elections.
·       The law provides for Continuous Voter Registration and Verification.The Government must provide the ECZ with the necessary and timely funding to undertake this very important task. 
·       More polling stations particularly in the rural areas must be created in order to reduce the distances to polling stations, enable and motivate voters to cast their vote.
·       The Government must financially empower the ECZ to put in place in this age of Internet / Communication and Information Technology, a system to allow voters to cast their ballots from any polling stations given the high mobility of citizens.
·       All political parties participating in the elections must be involved in educating their members on the importance of voting, rule and practices of elections. They also must provide and accredit Monitors at all Polling Stations to ensure transparency thereby reduce if not eliminate all suspicions and unsubstantiated claims of rigging that always mar our elections.This also demands working with the ECZ in witnessing and verifying the ballots as they are cast and counted in the polling stations and transmitted to the ECZ.

Finally,we once againappeal to all Zambians to embrace and promote peace and tranquility in our land; without peace there is no development to talk about in our beloved country. The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Issued on 30th January 2015

Telesphore George Mpundu
Archbishop of Lusaka
ZEC President

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Zambia's Opposition Leader Hichilema Disputes Election Results

Hakainde Hichilema
 By Paul Shalala

Opposition UPND Presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema has rejected the outcome of the 20 January, 2015 presidential election, calling it a sham.

Mr Hichilema, who took part in the polls for the fourth consecutive time, has accused the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) of having announced false results.

Speaking at a press briefing this morning, Mr Hichilema said his main challenger PF's Edgar Lungu would be declared winner but he will be an illegitimate president.

An hour after Mr Hichilema spoke, ECZ Chairperson Ireen Mambilima released the latest presidential results from 141 constituencies which show that Mr Lungu had polled 789,848 votes (47.9%) and Mr Hichilema was at 776,832 votes (47.1%).

Results of the remaining nine constituencies are expected to be announced tonight at 18:00hrs and the winning candidate will be inaugurated tomorrow at the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka.

Below is the speech Mr Hichilema read at the press briefing:



24 January 2015

Edgar Lungu steals election

A stolen election does not reflect the will of the people and is not going to deliver.

As you know we've yet to hear the final few constituencies announced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia, however it is with deep regret that we now already know the predetermined result.

They intend to announce victory for PF candidate, Edgar Lungu,

The United Party for National Development will always respect the views of the people we seek to serve, and our party is built upon upholding our country's key democratic values and transparency.

However, what we have seen unfold over the last few days could not have been further away from the democratic process we aspire to uphold and the results announced do not reflect accurately the voting numbers that occurred on the 20 th January 2015.

This has not been a level playing field from the start. We have experienced widespread violence against our supporters and party members throughout the campaign as well as deep irregularities in the counting process.

We know that democracy lies not only in the voting, but in the counting.

We have been open and engaged with the ECZ regarding our concerns at every possible point through official channels. However, despite this, there are many aspects of the election process and results that have continued to be highly irregular and fallen far short of the democratic process Zambians aspire for.

Whilst we want to reinforce the personal high-esteem in which we, the UPND, hold the Chairperson and the commissioners of the ECZ, there are some known individuals within the ECZ who have acted with utter impunity, corruption and total disregard for a democratic process by manipulating the election results.

Let me provide you with a few examples of how the process fell short of the standards expected:

Yesterday, the ECZ, realising there had been some discrepancies in the numbers announced so far, allowed members of the UPND and PF to be present for verification at the ECZ for all 150 constituencies. Yet, despite recognising discrepancies, the commission has only provided 32 out of the 150 constituencies for verification promising to provide the balance later. The constituencies involved had many serious irregularities involving the accuracy of the numbers. This is a glaring deliberate omission.

Following our meeting yesterday we were also assured by the ECZ that we were going to be provided with the full details for each of the constituencies counted, and yet right now we are still waiting for these despite being guaranteed yesterday.

Problems have also arisen from the delays in the provision of full results breakdowns for each constituency from the ECZ to the various parties, even three days after some of the results have been announced. In addition, biased and selective release of results, incorrect displays of figures suggesting that the candidate from PF was leading throughout during television reports and on the ECZ website itself have added to the confusion and undermined our confidence at several points. This was happening while people were still voting in other areas just to create an impression that Patriotic Front was winning the election even when it was clear that the race was still very tight.

The ECZ has always been very clear about restricting access to the ballot receiving rooms. There was supposed to be strong controls in place to maintain this and no technology equipment is allowed in, and yet we know unauthorized people were allowed in these rooms with smart phones. ECZ knew about this. Where is the vote protection consistency and reliability here?

Our own vote protection efforts at polling stations where voting was extended beyond 20 th Jan 2015 to monitor ourselves were severely hampered at last minute and without apparent due reason despite prior granting of permissions for our helicopters to fly, these flight permissions were revoked. ZAF continued to delay in granting clearance with no clear reason as to why. This has understandably raised suspicion and concern when the Minister of Defence is himself a candidate in the election.

Our outstanding concerns, in the context of this election has left us deeply alarmed that the wrong result has been arrived at, which does not reflect the will of our people.

Over the last eight weeks of the campaign we have been all over our country listening to the views and concerns of our people. We made a promise to them that we would give everything we have to serve them, and we will uphold that.

On behalf of the UPND I need to thank my supporters across the country for their efforts throughout the campaign. Your support, energy and dedication has been truly astounding and we thank you. we have been truly humbled by your support.

We wish to thank our alliance partners including members of parliament for your support. We wish to thank all the Zambian citizens from all walks of life who have come out in support for us. Regardless of the outcome of this election I have no doubt that this momentum for the UPND will continue to grow.

As we know, this election was brought upon us in unfortunate circumstances following the death of our late President. We have been putting plans into place for the 2016 general election and those plans remain.

Before then though, we firmly believe that the 2016 elections should be held on the platform of a new constitution and Independent Electoral Commission to prevent a repeat of the shambles we have seen over the last few days.

Until then, I, and all citizens working together, will continue to fight for a better Zambia.

Ultimately, this election has been a sham and does not reflect the will of the majority of Zambians. If Edgar Lungu is sworn in as President he will certainly be an illegitimate president going by what we have discovered at the ECZ. Edgar Lungu truly knows that the results that have been given to him by individuals at the ECZ are not from the citizens who voted. Those individuals, who are less than twenty at ECZ, have to bear the burden of over 14 millions Zambians.

We in the UPND, together with our partners and ordinary citizens, will be watching closely and we will be ready to win another election in 20 months time under a new constitution.

Despite the fact that the election was stolen from us, I urge all our party members and supporters across our country to remain calm and peaceful for the good of Zambia.

I thank you all.

May God Bless the Republic of Zambia. May God bless you all.

Hakainde Hichilema

UPND President

Thursday, 22 January 2015

International Observers Describe Zambia's Presidential Poll Credible

By Paul Shalala
Kgalema Motlanthe

International election observers that have monitored Zambia's presidential election on Tuesday have described the poll as credible.

The 23-member African Union Election Observation Mission says the pre and post election period has been largely peaceful and meeting international election standards.

Former South African president Kgalema Motlanthe, who is leading the mission, says the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) presided over a well organised poll.

"The African union Election Observer Mission commends election officials for their attention to detail during the counting process," said Mr Motlanthe.

The mission further recommends that Zambia allows independent presidential candidates, allow majoritarian electoral system and extending the period for swearing in the new president to allow electoral disputes to be sorted out.

Mr Motlanthe also called on the ECZ to implement the continuous voter education.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) says the polls were largely peaceful despite reports of violence among political parties.

Former Mauritius President Cassam Uteem, who is head of the EISA Elections Observer Mission to Zambia, says the people of Zambia freely voted and exercised their democratic right on polling day.

He however recommended that Zambia legislates the introduction of the joint election of the President and Vice-President as running mates, introduce the election of the President by absolute majority and expand the period between the announcement of results and the presidential inauguration.

Mr Uteem further recommended that there be separation between the functions of the Returning Officer of the presidential election from those of the Chief Justice to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
Sofonea Shale

And the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Non-Governmental Organisations Observer Mission has also declared the 20th January presidential election as free and fair.

Head of the SADC NGO Observers Sofonea Shale says the election was credible.

“We have experienced voter apathy due to the movement of people from one place to another.  We do not expect the number of people who have voted to be more than 40 percent,” Mr Shale said.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Rains Pound The Nation As Zambians Vote For New President

A Zambian voter
By Paul Shalala

Over five million registered voters are today casting their ballots to chose a new President following the death of Michael Sata in October 2014 despite heavy rains that have hit the nation.

On the ballot paper are 11 presidential candidates who have campaigned for the top job in the land over the past two months.

According to several commentators, the main battle is between the ruling PF’s Edgar Lungu and opposition UPND’s Hakainde Hichilema who have been trading allegations of incapacity to run the nation amongst themselves.

A check across several areas of Lusaka has shown long queues forming outside polling stations as early voters as voters started queuing up as early as 05:00hrs.

Meanwhile, Acting President Dr. Guy Scott this morning made an impromptu visit to Mr. Price store at Manda Hill Shopping Mall where he found people working and ordered management to close the shop.

Dr. Scott declared polling day an official holiday to allow those in formal employment to vote.

And Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Irene Mambiliima says the final election results are expected to be announced by Friday this week depending on the weather.

Zambia is at the moment experiencing heavy rains and the Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rains especially in the southern part of the country.

Early this morning, heavy rains were reported in Lusaka, Kafue, Kabwe and several parts of Southern Province.

The commission is this time using the electronic vote announcement system which is expected to be faster than the manual system used in previous polls.

The ECZ is expected to start holding periodic press briefings at the Mulungushi International Conference in Lusaka to announce presidential results as they trickle in from the 150 parliamentary constituencies.