The final result in Tuesday presidential election in Zambia will be out on Friday, January 23, the Electoral Commission of Zambia has disclosed
Ms.Pricilla Isaacs, ECZ Director, said results of the poll were expected to start filtering into the national results centre at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, at 23.00 hours Tuesday night while the final results will be announced by Friday 23rd January 2015
Addressing journalists at the MICC on Tuesday, Ms Isaacs said that though ECZ had earlier promised it would transmit the results “electronically using a digital system” the rains on election day could make that impossible.
The ECZ will consider transmitting presidential election results through fax from all the districts to the national results centre in Lusaka because the bad weather had hampered the operations of the commission and affected its network for the digital transmission of results.
Ms. Isaacs pointed out that the ECZ has no control over the weather which has led to the late commencement of the presidential poll in some parts of the country and that if the network challenges persisted. the ECZ “will use the parallel transmission of results by fax machines from the districts backed by hard copies from returning officers”.
There is a tall list of nine presidential candidates, but the election is believed to be a two-man race between Hakainde Hichelima of the United Party for National Development and the ruling Patriotic Party’s Edgar Lungu.
Ms. Isaacs has meanwhile told journalists that ECZ has made progress in delivering election materials and staff to the 72 polling stations that had not yet received the items when voting in the rest of the country opened at 06.00 hours Tuesday.
She said out of the 72 polling stations that were affected, 34 stations had by the afternoon received the election materials.
She said efforts were being made to ensure that the remaining polling stations in Mafinga, Chama, Petauke, Rufunsa, Mitete, Lukulu and Mwinilunga districts receive the materials so that voting can commence immediately.
Ms. Isaacs has since commended the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) for working tirelessly in the midst of bad weather to deliver the election materials.
She described the voting process across the country as progressing well adding that voters were turning up to vote despite the heavy rains.
And Ms. Isaacs brushed off claims by opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema that late delivery of ballot papers to his strongholds in Western and Northwestern provinces was a ploy to defraud the electoral process in favour of the Patriotic Front candidate, Edgar Lungu.
She explained it was the heavy rains that delayed the deployment of election materials in the named areas, assuring that voters that started voting late or were yet to start that they would be given the standard 12 hours period of voting which was allocated to all other polling stations in the country.
Meanwhile Hilchelima has called on the Electoral Commissioner Irene Mambilima yesterday (Wednesday) to stop the announcement of results on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation from collation centres because they were selective and inaccurate, as the UPND with leading with 51 percent of the vote.