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By Times Reporter

ELECTORAL Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Florence Mumba has assured the nation that the commission will ensure that it delivers a credible presidential election to be held within 73 days.

Justice Mumba, however, said the forthcoming election was unprecedented and it was important that all stakeholders worked together.

Officiating at a workshop for council secretaries and town clerks in Kabwe yesterday, Justice Mumba said the remaining 73 days before the election could be held was a big challenge but she was convinced it would be fulfilled if stakeholders worked together.

She said following the death of President Levy Mwanawasa, the ECZ had realised that it needed a competent poll staff database that could be called on at short notice when the need for an election arose.

The ECZ would be required to train and supervise all electoral staff that included returning officers, presiding officers and polling assistants in the short time remaining before the election.

After the training, the ECZ would only pick on those that would demonstrate practical knowledge and competence of the electoral process.

She acknowledged that the presidential election would be a litmus test and would determine how the commission was capable of responding to a sudden challenge.

The ECZ had started preparing for the 2011 polls and had challenges in areas such as procurement and logistics but were now being compounded by the short notice in which the polls were to be held especially that Zambians expected nothing but the best polls.

Justice Mumba also cautioned civic leaders to be mindful of the sensitivity of their work by avoiding any behaviour that might compromise their standing in society.

“Remember that our stakeholders are watching and they do not expect any unprofessional conduct from us,” she said.

She made an undertaking for the ECZ to do its work in a transparent, impartial and efficient manner for the polls to meet the aspirations of the people.

Kabwe Town Clerk Vivian Chikoti hailed the ECZ for its decision to hold its first preparatory presidential election workshop in Kabwe, a town that was steadily regaining its economic glory.

In a vote of thanks, Kitwe Town Clerk Ali Simwinga said the training would assist the participants discharge their electoral duties in a diligent manner to warrant a free and fair election.


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