The Kabushi and Kwacha ballot papers may be validated due to the court action, according to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).
The Commission floated the tender for the printing and distribution of vote papers utilizing open international competitive procurement technique with 6-8 weeks floatation term in 2020, according to ECZ Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga.
According to her, the bids were obtained and assessed in accordance with the Public Procurement Act. Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC eventually emerged as the most aggressive and accommodating bidder.
“A contract was signed between Al Ghurair and the Commission for the period of two years to print ballot paper booklets, posters, blind voter templates and results announcement forms. This information was shared with the public prior to the 12th August 2021 General Election and it is in public domain.Stakeholders may recall that the Commission has been conducting elections and by-elections after the 2021 General Election as shown in the tables below and Al Ghurair has been printing ballot papers and other election related materials
Stakeholders may wish to know that the process of printing ballot papers starts soon after nominations. Respective candidates and or representatives are given a sample ballot paper to verify and sign off before commencement of printing. This was the case with these three byelections,” she said.
Voting papers for the three by-elections, according to Ms. Luhanga, were handed on September 12, 2022, and verification for the by-election for the Luangwa Council Chairperson took place on September 13, 2022, in Lusaka at the headquarters of the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
According to her, as is customary, representatives from the Leadership Movement, Patriotic Front, Socialist Party, and United Party for National Development were present at the verification process, which was open to all competing political parties and candidates.
However, she said that because of the legal dispute, the ballots for the Kabushi and Kwacha Parliamentary by-elections could not be confirmed.
After the verification in Lusaka, according to Ms. Luhanga, the ballots for the by-election for the Luangwa Council Chairperson were delivered.
“Another verification was conducted in Luangwa with stakeholders on Tuesday 13th September 2022 in readiness for the by-election on Thursday 15th September 2022.
The ballot papers for Kabushi and Kwacha Parliamentary by-elections were NOT dispatched to Ndola and Kitwe respectively,” she said.
According to Ms. Luhanga, the Commission wants to reassure all electoral stakeholders that ECZ is dedicated to carrying out the electoral processes in accordance with the law.