In Zambia, the electoral commission that is preparing for this year’s tripartite general election has received a two million dollar cash donation from the government of Sweden. The commission spent twelve million dollars computerizing the voting system to avoid misconduct. Sources report it has improved its practices. Dan Kalale, the director general of Zambia’s electoral commission, spoke with VOA’s English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about the progress and development of the office.
“Well, I think we are on course now as at 21st July 2006 we shall be ready to conduct elections in that we would have completed printing our voter register. The register, which would be used for the tripartite elections some time in September, so all is on course.”
He explained how the recent cash donation will help the commission carry out its responsibilities: “Indeed it’s gone a long way ensuring that most of our difficulties are investigated in one way or another. The Swedish donation of that amount went to the UNDP managed trust fund. It is from the funds that we managed to acquire the 30,000 transparent ballot boxes which we received yesterday. And then we are also using the same amount from the trust fund for various activities like no voter education, training of officials and capacity building. The government spent 12.6 million dollars for a computerized electoral management system put in place. So this is the system that has enabled us to come up with a new register.”
The director general said the commission’s new system would hopefully curb the number of complaints made by defeated parties. “It’s impossible to stop complaints here and there because no system is completely flawless. We expect petitions and complains to come up, but nonetheless we will try our best to ensure that the amount of complaints or the number of complaints is reduced tremendously.”
Kalale added that enforcement of the electoral code of conduct is integral to the success of the election and that both police and anti-corruption institutions are able to deal with electoral malpractices.
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