Former Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti has challenged government to justify its plans to have the Livingstone and Mpongwe by-elections ballot papers printed outside the country.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS Kitwe Mr. Mulongoti said government printers have the capacity to print the ballot papers and wondered why governments still wants to give the job to a foreign company.
He argued that government was contradicting itself as it had recently announced through the Minister of Communication and Transport Christopher Yaluma that Government Printers had the capacity to print ballot papers.
He accused some government officials of wanting to make money out of the ballot Paper printing contract.
He noted that the Patriotic Front government talks about creating employment in the country but the decision to award the contract of printing ballots paper to foreign company is creating jobs for people abroad leaving the local people wallowing in poverty.
Mr Mulongoti further stated that the move was as good as declaring Government Printers redundant because there was no way government should continue paying huge sums of money to foreign companies to print ballot papers when the Government Printers had the capacity to do the same job.
Two week ago Electoral Commission of Zambia Senior Public Relations officer Sylvia Bwalya announced that the ballot papers for the forth coming Livingstone and Mpongwe parliamentary by-elections will be printed from the UK by a company called Smith and Ouznam.
Livingstone Central and Mpongwe constituencies will be holding by-elections on the 28th of February following the resignation of Howard Sikwela of the United Party for National Development and Gabriel Namulambe of the MMD