BALLOT papers for the postponed Livingstone parliamentary by-election have been flown to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) offices in Lusaka after stakeholders participating in the election raised safety concerns.
Representatives of political parties, police, civil society, ECZ and the media witnessed the ferrying of 31 ballot papers on Thursday afternoon from the Civic Centre to Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport before they were flown to Lusaka using a Zambia Air Force (ZAF) plane.
The plane, which took off at 17:30 hours, was expected to arrive at City Airport in Lusaka around 19:10 hours and the ballot papers were expected to be received by political parties and other stakeholders.
Livingstone Constituency returning officer Elister Hazinji said the ferrying of ballot papers to Lusaka arose from concerns of safety raised by various stakeholders following the postponement of the by-election from February 28, 2013 to March 14, 2013.
“Following the meeting we had with various stakeholders, we had concerns about the safety and proper keeping of ballot papers before the postponed voting day on March 14, 2013.
We consulted ECZ and they advised us to fly the ballot papers to Lusaka. Hence our calling you to verify and observe their transportation from the Civic Centre to the airport,” she said.
At the same meeting, United National Independence Party (UNIP) representative Robert Mukengami urged ECZ to sensitise political parties and members of the public on the banning of campaigns ahead of the by-election.