By Bright Chikele:
THE die is cast. The completion of the printing process of the ballot papers for the presidential, referendum, mayoral, local government and National Assembly elections next month by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company of Dubai is a feat worthy of commendation.
So far the nine political parties being represented and other stakeholders who are part of the observation and monitoring team, have expressed great satisfaction with the whole printing process that has been underway since 5th July, 2016.
Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company managing director Lakshmanan Ganapathy assured the delegation that the packaging of the ballot papers would be completed by tomorrow, 23th July, 2016.
Going by the company’s impeccable track record of transparency, we can repose our trust in them knowing that they shall deliver to the satisfaction of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) which contracted them on behalf of Zambians.
We think the ECZ deserves the full cooperation of all well-meaning Zambians in the execution of the remaining part of their mandate to ensure that a credible, free and fair general election is held.
It must certainly be clear in the minds and intelligent analysis of right thinking electorate that insinuations, lies and innuendos peddled by various opposition political parties and some individuals that the Dubai-based printing company would collude with the ruling Patriotic Front and ECZ to manipulate the outcome of the election, were frivolous, baseless and uncalled for.
Such ignominious, disgraceful and careless statements just revealed the evil intent of such persons. It is indeed true that lies have short legs whereas truth always triumphs over calumny.
The birds of omen must be ashamed particularly that some most credible and reputable institutions performing oversight roles, such as Transparency International Zambia (TIZ), among others, have come out publicly to allay aspersions on the credibility of the forthcoming elections.
We must equally applaud some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and the Civil Society for their support to the process. Of particular mention is the great sensitisation campaign on the importance for those of our people in possession of the National Registration Cards to take part in the referendum on the Bill of Rights which seeks to enhance fundamental freedoms for all regardless of political, tribal, regional or religious affiliation.
And the Law Association of Zambia’s (LAZ) rise to the occasion to pioneer the successful holding of the referendum, let alone urging Zambians to vote YES is a good and progressive development.
We are so certain that those who have deliberately chosen to embark on a negative campaign against voting for this highly accredited document to conclude the constitution-making process shall be put to a humiliating discomfiture.
We would like to urge all the polling staff that ECZ has engaged to help out with the transparent management of the election process to do so with a high sense of honour and patriotism. You are the vanguards of a credible and flawless election at the end of the day. Choose to stand out and perform your role with integrity as you deliver a valuable service to your country.
It is high time all nine political parties participating in next month’s general election began identifying party members, who would be deployed to different polling stations as observers on 11th August, 2016.
With both international and local election observers and monitors being part of the election process, we think that is what makes manipulating the system – to favour one party against the other contenders – practically impossible.
The level of mud-slinging against the electoral body so far has surely not worked in favour of doubting Thomases. The die is cast!