Ballot papers for the 1991 elections that removed UNIP and ushered MMD in power were printed right here in Zambia at Government Printers opposite Zamtel near Lusaka’s fly over bridge next to Levy Mall.
Since then Zambia has been printing ballot papers abroad at a huge cost. Last year’s ballot papers were printed at a collosal sum of 3.8 Million US Dollars that doesn’t include other costs such as transport, security and so forth. This staggering amount could have gone a long way in uplifting the social and economic conditions of hundreds of thousands of people if it was injected in the productive sector of the economy. This money is enough to sort out the accommodation crisis at UNZA and CBU.
Therefore, the decision by Government to print locally, ballot papers for the 2021 general elections is timely and very progressive for it will result in revenue savings and creation of jobs for young people who will be employed in the printing department, procurement, security and supply of various sundries required to print ballot papers; even IT specialists will be employed to provide the match needed designs and security features. Further, the savings will be injected in the productive sector of the economy to enhance social mobility of our people.
And like the President said, those who cry rigging must come forth and avail their fears so they can adequately be addressed.
Moving forward we must be advocating for electronic voting and electronic transmission of results in the forseeable future because we can’t, 53 years after our nation’s independence be spending 5 days counting and transmitting election results when nations that are much younger than us have migrated to electronic voting.
We must come together and find amicable ways of confronting and dealing with the legitimate fears of electronic voting and forge ahead with progressive innovations and ideas.
By Antonio Mwanza, PF Deputy Director – Media