No council chairpersons elections in three new districts – ECZ

By JAMES KUNDA –
THREE newly-created districts in the country will not conduct elections for council chairpersons in next month’s general elections, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has said.
The three districts are Kalumbila and Mushindano in North-Western Province and Senga Hill in Mbala District of  Northern Province.
ECZ deputy director for information technology Brown Kasaro said the three districts were established after the nominations for the August 11 elections had been conducted.
Mr Kasaro said this in Lusaka yesterday during an ECZ meeting with electoral stakeholders held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
Kalumbila District was established out of Solwezi West Constituency, Mushindano out of Solwezi East and Senga Hill out of Senga Hill Constituency.
“The three districts were established through Statutory Instrument (SI) number 39 of 2016 (the Provisional and District Boundaries Act) published on June 3, 2016.
“The Commission will advise the date for the council chairperson by-elections in the three districts in due course,” Mr Kasaro said.
He said the elections for mayor and council chairpersons in Solwezi and Mbala would be held under new boundaries, meaning that only voters in Solwezi Central and Mbala Central constituencies will vote for mayors and council chairpersons, respectively.
Mr Kasaro said the Government had revised the boundary between Mbala and Mpulungu districts in Northern Province and the move had resulted in the relocation of three polling stations.
The affected polling stations, which collectively have 2,488 voters on the provisional register of voters, are Chipwa and Chisanza schools and Kawe Seventh Day Adventist Church, and all moved from Mbala to Mpulungu Constituency.
“The Commission has also relocated Mary Mwango polling station in Kabwata Constituency from Voice of Holiness Pentecostal Church to Arthur Wina Primary School on submission by the district electoral officer that the Church could not be located during the inspection exercise,” Mr Kasaro said.
Meanwhile, ECZ commissioner Fredrick Ng’andu said the Commission was concerned with the high levels of violence during the ongoing political campaigns.
Dr Ng’andu urged political party leaders to ensure that their members were kept abreast with the need for peaceful campaigns.
He also said printing of ballot papers for the referendum on the Bill of Rights by Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing LLC of Dubai had been completed in that country.
Dr Ng’andu said printing of ballot papers for the presidential and parliamentary elections was expected to commence as soon as Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula, who is a representative of the Patriotic Front (PF), arrived in that country upon securing a visa.
‘‘The challenge has been that he has a diplomatic passport and people with such a document always find challenges in securing a visa for travel to Dubai,” Dr Ng’andu said.
At the same indaba, Lusaka Province Police chief Nelson Phiri said the law-enforcement agency would engage political parties on the need to ensure that campaigns were peaceful.
The stakeholders were gathered by ECZ to make submissions to the Draft Electoral Process Act number 35 of 2016 which depicts regulations empowering the Commission to suspend campaigns or disqualify candidates abrogating the Electoral Code of Conduct.

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