The UPND has demanded the immediate withdrawal of plans to engage Alghurairi Printing & Publishing LLC of Dubai to print ballot papers for 2016 tripartite election.
UPND vice president Geoffrey Mwamba says the Dubai Company is ineligible and highly questionable following court cases involving recent presidential elections in a known African country.
“ECZ should explain the rational of preferring Alghurairi Printing and Publishing LLC to Renform Printing Solution of South Africa which printed ballot paper that ushered late President Michael Sata and Edgar Lungu into office in the 2011 tripartite and 2015 presidential elections respectively,” GBM said.
He asked: “How does the same ECZ which failed to implement the 14 days extension of voter registration citing lack of funds all of a sudden afford to print ballot papers and pay stakeholders to monitor the printing of ballots far off in the Middle East?
He said ECZ should not blindfold and deny Zambians the much needed credible free and fair election by imposing a company currently cited in an electoral dispute in Uganda.
He said Priscilla Isaacs as Director need to know that ECZ is delegated by people of Zambia to conduct and manage elections on their behalf in which case she should not bulldoze but do what her masters the people of Zambia want.
“As stakeholders we expected ECZ to consult all stakeholders on why they have now found it fit to engage a company in Dubai to print ballot papers
“The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) must aim at showing sanity in the whole electoral process and not direct their emotions towards those questioning their maneuvers to print ballot papers in Dubai, he said.
“ECZ is accountable to us the Zambians, not to President Lungu. What we expect ECZ to do is to explain their strategy to print ballot papers in Dubai instead of the nearby South Africa.
“We also wish to warn them that we shall have them arrested should we find them wanting after 11th August general elections,” GBM said
He said ECZ must not take the estimated 6.8million voters for granted but allow them to decide their future freely as they have done in all past elections.
‘We in the UPND are ready for 50% +1 and demand for free and fair elections and not unwarranted statements from those who should be accountable for the whole electoral system.
“We wish to state that we shall not tolerate electoral malpractice come this year’s general election. We shall do everything within ou powers to protect our electoral system for Zambians to exercise their electoral rights for a progressive democratic dispensation.
“We cannot afford to continue receiving petty answers from the ECZ when we the people of Zambia question their actions. They must be ready to answer clearly. From the moral point of view let ECZ also engage Stakeholders to resolve this matter,’ he said.
GBM explained that ‘when we come into power on 11th August 2016, we shall establish a more independent and people- driven electoral system”. H the people of Zambia shall not allow ECZ to change the course of our growing democracy by engaging a company with questionable background to print ballot papers.