THE Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has started conducting training for election monitors in 96 constituencies in all the 10 provinces in preparation for the August 11, 2016, general elections.
This follows the successful training of trainers across the country in which 175 people have been trained both at district and constituency level.FODEP executive director Chimfwembe Mweenge said the training, which is expected to capture a total of 5,000 election monitors, will be conducted by the 175 trainers who have just graduated.
Mr. Mweenge said the training was expected to end in the next three days and will be followed by the deployment of monitors in the 96 constituencies.
“The trainings are expected to finish on August 3, 2016, and will see a total of 5,000 citizen election monitors trained and these will be deployed to 96 constituencies across all the 10 provinces. We finished conducting the training of trainers programme across the 10 provinces in which 175 individuals at district and constituency levels were trained and it is these trainers who are conducting training for election monitors.
“To ensure representation, there is gender balance for the participants in the training of citizen election monitors programme and are drawn from districts and constituencies where they originate,” Mr. Mweenge said.
He said his organisation was confident that the election monitors who will be trained will be well equipped to monitor the elections with impartiality in accordance with the electoral code of conduct to ensure that the 2016 election outcome reflects the will of the people.He said FODEP will monitor this year’s election without any bias and will point out any anomalies that may be encountered in the interest of electoral democracy.
“FODEP is confident that our monitors will be adequately equipped to monitor and observe the elections impartially and independently in accordance with provisions of the Electoral Process Act no. 35, part 7 of 2016, which provides for the accreditation of elections monitors and observers.
“FODEP believes the presence of its monitors at polling stations will help ensure that the electoral process is representative of the will of the people. On our part as FODEP, we will play our role as an electoral watchdog and point out any anomalies we may encounter in the electoral process without any fear or favour in the interest of our electoral democracy,” he said.