Presidential ballot papers ready

Universal Printer Business Improvement Specialist Ashley Bhugwandin said in Durban on Monday that printing of presidential ballot papers which started on Friday last week finished on Sunday.

He was briefing members of the civil society, the church and other stakeholders who are part of the 16 member team which is in Durban to witness the printing of the ballot papers by the Universal Printer company.

Bhugwandin expressed confidence that his company will meet the September 10 deadline when the first consignment of ballot papers for five outlying provinces is scheduled to be despartched to Lusaka.

And ECZ Chief Technical Advisor , Frank Vassallo disclosed that printing of parliamentary ballot papers started on Monday, while that of local government ballot papers started on Tuesday.

Universal Printer Special Project Consultant Vic Vait said printing of both parliamentary and local government ballot papers is expected to finish between September 5 and 8.

Representatives of the political parties have been busy verifying particulars of the candidates since they arrived last week . They will leave on 10th September when the printing of the ballot papers is expected to finish.

The ECZ had invited representatives from political parties, the civil society, the church, the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP and other key stakeholders stakeholders (who included Women for Change Executive Director Emily Sikazwe, Zambia Episcopal Conference, ZEC, General Secretary Father Paul Samasumo, Evangelical Church of Zambia, EFZ, Chairman Bishop Harrison Sakalawho) to travel to Durban to monitor the printing of ballot papers to be used in Zambia’s forthcoming polls.

After they had inspected the facilities and has overseen some of the printing process, ZEC general secretary Father Paul Samasumo, speaking on behalf of other members, told journalists that the team had decided not to issue a statement in Durban on their observations of the printing process.

The monitors include representatives from five political parties namely the MMD, APC, PF, HP and the UDA, while others are from the Zambia police, Anti Corruption Commission and the media.

The candidates themselves have been given unhindered access to the entire printing process.

Meanwhile, Universal Printer Managing Director Bhart Mheta said his company is working hard to satisfy the expectations of the Zambian people.

Mheta said his company is on schedule and will charter two cargo planes to transport the ballot papers to Lusaka.

He said the first flight was scheduled for September 10 with the second and last consignment following few days later.

Zambia goes to the polls on September 28, 2006 with about 4, 000,000 registered voters 52.02 percent of whom are female, while 47.98 percent are male. ‘ NAMPA/ZANA.

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