WITH less than 90 days remaining before the August 11 general elections, it is important for politicians and stakeholders alike to follow, religiously, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) time-table so that the Constitution of Zambia is not breached due to unnecessary delays to prepare for the polls.
Politicians and stakeholders should ensure that the ECZ meets its mandate of delivering credible elections.
The ECZ have delivered in the past and we believe with support of all Zambians, the electoral body can do it again.
We are concerned in that there seems to be a deliberate scheme to damage the reputation of the ECZ ahead of the polls.
Of immediate concern is how Zambians are handling the matter over the awarding of the contract to print ballot papers.
It is important for Zambians to understand that the printing will not be done in a day by whoever will be appointed to carry out the job.
In fact, it is now not clear whether all political players will be in agreement when the ECZ finally settles for a printer following the bad mouthing of the electoral body.
But this is happening at the expense of preparations for the general elections.
Already, political players seem to have forgotten about days for nominations for candidates vying for different political positions.
Unless some political parties have kept their deposits as a secret, only UNIP have complied with the requirement that Presidential candidates deposit K37, 500 in the ECZ account.
This amount is half of the K75, 000 that all presidential candidates have to pay as nomination fees in the August 11 general elections.
Although the deadline for depositing the money is Tuesday, 17th May, 2016, we fear some political party candidates will deliberately breach this rule so that they can cause unnecessary confusion when they are disqualified.
Keen followers of the national elections know that Zambia’s political elections are competitive and to have a smooth electoral process, a lot of work needs to be done in advance.
Political stakeholders also know that Zambia has over 3,000 polling stations in need of voters’ registers and ballot booklets for different elective positions.
Politicians and stakeholders should be alive to the fact that this year’s August elections would have aspirants at the council, mayor or chairperson, members of Parliament and the Presidential ballot.
This year’s polls are unlike last year when the elections were only for the President.
Therefore, it is important that Zambians, especially the politicians and concerned stakeholders assist the ECZ with moral support and the strict adherence to the time-table to fulfill the requirement of the Constitution.
As we have said, the ECZ has always delivered credible elections and with support of Zambians, it can deliver once again.