ECZ To Deploy Over 70, 000 Poll Staff.
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia ( ECZ) says it will deploy 70,000 personnel to 7,700 polling stations countrywide to conduct next month’s general elections.
And 332 candidates for mayoral and council chairperson positions have validly been nominated to contest the positions on different political parties’ tickets in various parts of the country with Lusaka district recording the highest number of candidates at eight.
ECZ recruited 45,000 personnel during the previous elections but the number has now increased to 70,000.
Public relations manager Cris Akufuna said in an interview at the ongoing 52nd Zambia International Trade Fair ( ZITF) in Ndola yesterday that the recruitment of the poll staff is progressing well in all the districts.
Mr Akufuna said the poll staff that include presiding officers, polling assistants and ushers, will be required to adhere to the electoral rules as they discharge their duties.
He also said ECZ has engaged 3,248 voter education facilitators to ensure citizens are well- equipped with the necessary information on the electoral process and the national referendum to be held alongside next month’s general elections.
“ The poll staff will be deployed to 7,700 polling stations across the country. Those who have worked with us before will be given priority during the ongoing recruitment process as they are already conversant with what is expected of them on the poll day,” Mr Akufuna said.
Meanwhile, Mr Akufuna urged political parties participating in this year’s general elections to put the interest of the country first by giving the citizens the right information on the proposed expanded Bill of Rights to enable them make informed decisions.
He said it will not be in the interest of the country for any politician to politicise the national referendum and discourage citizens from participating in such an important national undertaking.
Mr Akufuna urged the church and civil society organisations to get involved in sensitising citizens about the referendum to ensure all eligible Zambians in possession of voters’ cards and those who have attained the age of 18 and are in possession of national registration cards, participate in the national referendum for the exercise to be successful.
“ We are expecting high level of patriotism from citizens as they vote in the referendum.
We are talking about enhancing the rights of citizens. Even the church should come into play to ensure as many people as possible participate. The expanded Bill of Rights assures citizens of protection,” Mr Akufuna said.
He said ECZ has gone an extra mile in sensitising the citizens on the referendum by working with all the country’s mobile phone service providers to create awareness on the proposed expanded Bill of Rights.
Mr Akufuna said ECZ is equal to the task of holding next month’s general elections at the same time with the national referendum, contrary to concerns by some stakeholders that the electoral body will be overwhelmed with work.
And CHIMWEMWE MWALE reports that 332 candidates for mayoral and council chairperson positions have validly been nominated to contest the positions in various parts of the country with Lusaka district recording the highest number of candidates at eight.
This follows the filing of nominations for mayoral and council chairperson candidates on May 30 this year ahead of the August 11 general elections.
According to the ECZ notice of validly nominated candidates for mayoral and chairperson elections across the country, two council chairpersons in two districts have gone unopposed.
The two are Patriotic Front ( PF) candidates in Peter Malumo and Isaac Kafwimbi in Mulobezi and Chipili districts, respectively.
Chipata has the second highest number of candidates at seven while Mambwe, Lundazi and Chinsali are third highest with six candidates each.
The districts with the lowest number of candidates are Mongu, Mwandi, Nalolo, Shangombo, Sikongo, Sinazongwe, Zimba, Gwembe, Kalomo, Monze, Mbala and Chavuma, which have two contestants each.
Others are Manyinga, Mwinilunga, Kasama, Mbala, Chirundu, Chilanga, Kafue, Luangwa, Sinda, Chienge, Lunga, Mansa, Milenge, Chadiza, Sinda, Mpongwe, Ndola, Chisamba, Kapiri Mposhi, Luano, Mkushi and Ngabwe.