As Zambians are queuing to cast their ballot papers, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has postponed elections in five wards in different constituencies due to errors on the ballot papers.
According to Mwebantu, the commission announced the development during a press briefing on Thursday at Mulungushi International Conference Centre. Chief electoral officer Priscilla Isaac says the commission will communicate a future date for holding elections in the affected wards.
The Chief electoral officer said the affected wards are Kanyala and Mpungu wards in Isoka constituency as candidates’ details were transposed between the two wards, Miengwe ward in Kafulafuta constituency, Mumbwe ward in Chipili and Keembe ward in Keembe constituency which had transposed portraits on the ballot paper.
Meanwhile Ms Isaac says the commission will compensate for the lost time to the polling stations which opened late.
“Most polling stations had opened on time today, the following polling stations were expected to open late due to terrain challenges which delayed the transportation of materials: Silowana ward, Yamakumba, and Shekela wards all of Nalolo district,” said Ms Isaac.
Other polling stations are Liandamo, and Mbume wards in Sioma district which were also to opened at 10:39hrs.
She further briefed the press that the commission observed with dismay photos of marked ballot papers in polling booths being posted on various online and social media platforms.
“The commission would like to caution members of the public to desist from such actions that would compromise the secrecy of the ballot,” she retariated.
The Electoral officer has since appealed to all polling staff and security officers in the polling stations to stop voters from using mobile phones in the polling stations as this is contrary to the electoral regulations.
“The commission would like to appeal to members of the public that the information circulating on social media that there will be different days of voting for various political parties is completely false and should be ignored,” says Isaac.
Zambians are casting their important ballot papers today to elect a president and members of the parliament.
All eyes on the two rivals, the incumbent President Edgar Lungu (PF) and Hichilema Hakainde of the UPND.