BY CHRISTOPHER CHISI
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has spend close to 2 hundred and 30 million, 4 hundred and 99 thousand , 9 hundred and 89 Kwacha, on
by-elections, from 2017 to date.
ECZ Chief Electoral Officer, Patrick Nshindano has explained during a media briefing held in Lusaka on Friday 31,January, 2020 that by elections are a constitutional undertaking and that when they are due ,whether the Commission has resources or not they need to be conducted to avoid breaching the law.
Meanwhile Mr. Nshindano has revealed that out 11 companies who participated in the bidding process, only two bidders appealed the intention of the Commission to award Al Ghurair of Dubai United Arab Emirates as provided for under regulation 170 of the public procurement regulation.
He said the E-C-Z will be guided by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) after it completes reviewing the bids and the associated documents.
He explains that the ZPPA is evaluating the appeals made by 2 bidders to determine whether ECZ will need to re-evaluate the all tendering process or go ahead and award the tender to Al Ghurair of Dubai United Arab Emirates.
And Mr. Nshindano has justified that the Commission has not been exempted from the current austerity measures being undertaken by the country, hence their decision not to sponsor stakeholders to monitor the printing of 2021 ballot papers, a move that has attracted mixed feelings from stakeholders.
He contends that while Zambia is the only country on the continent that sponsors political parties to observe the monitoring of the printing of ballot papers , there is no legal obligation that compels the Commission to do so.
Further, the ECZ Chief Electoral Officer says the commission intends to undertake prisoners voting for the 2021 General Elections.
This follows the case of Godfrey Malembeka the Executive Director of Prisons Care and Counselling Association versus Attorney General and ECZ in which the court held that prisoners right to vote should be upheld.
And Mr. Nshindano has revealed that ECZ intends to undertake registration of voters which is likely to commence in May this year.
He says the Voter Registration Exercise which will include, mobile, district centre, as well as online registration, will entail the creation of a new register of voters.
Mr. Nshindano adds that the Voter Registration has been necessitated by “the ECZ 2016 post-election review recommendations from stakeholders.The register will seek to remove deceased voters that may not have been declared to the commission or traced with the available systems for removing them, and to collect enhanced biometric details of all voters. The delimitation exercise, if successful, will give birth to new electoral boundaries that will render existing boundaries redundant and might disenfranchise voters.”