UK pledges £4m to reduce fraud in Zambian polls

BRITAIN says it is giving Zambia four million pounds to help voters understand the electoral process and reduce the risk of fraud and misinformation in this year’s general elections.

During celebrations to mark the 90 birthday of Queen Elizabeth II in Lusaka on Thursday, British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane-Dyet said Britain would contribute to the updating of the election regulation manuals used by the police.

“This is why the UK has stepped forward as the largest bilateral supporter of the elections. We are providing more than four million pounds to help Zambians vote. We are planning to assist with domestic observation to ensure local but independent assessment of the vote; encourage more women to vote and be voted for; and provide voter education to help Zambians better understand the process and reduce the risk of fraud and misinformation,” High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said.

He said they had recently trained police on the usage of the regulations.

 “With others, we are also contributing to the updating of the elections regulations manuals used by the police and have recently trained police trainers on those regulations,” High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet said.

He said the Department for International Development had been increasing its spending on economic development in Zambia and would continue to do so.

And High Commissioner said the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) had one of the best election management records in southern Africa.

“This adherence to international standards of governance and human rights matters a lot. Zambia has commendably avoided the instability and conflict that has brought misery to millions of people elsewhere in the region. International businesses, weighing their investment decisions, are encouraged and reassured by the presence of functioning democratic systems, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms,” said High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet.

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