Zambians vote for Sixth President
Lusaka, January 20, 2015,ZANIS–Zambians are today voting in a snap presidential to elect the country’s Sixth President following the death of President Michael Sata last October.
Mr Sata was Zambia’s Fifth Republican President and died in London at the age of 77.
Eleven candidates are participating in the election and include opposition Fourth Revolution party Leader Eric Chanda, Tilyenji Kaunda of UNIP, Edith Nawakwi of the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD), Ludwig Sondashi of the Federal Democratic Alliance (FDA) and Nevers Mumba of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MDD).
Others are Edgar Lungu of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF), Dan Pule (Christian Democratic Alliance), Godfrey Miyanda (Heritage Party), Peter Sinkamba (Green Party), Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and Elias Chipimo Junior of the National Restoration Party (NAREP).
The winner of today’s election will serve the remaining 18 months of the late Michael Sata’s term before the general election is held next year in 2016.
Meanwhile, a snap survey conducted by a ZANIS crew at two polling stations in Kabwata constituency before the stations opened at 06:00 hours found a handful of voters in a queue waiting to vote.
The official voting time is from 06-00 hours to 18-00 hours in the evening.
At Nakatenge polling station confusion marred the voting exercise as irate voters blamed Electoral Commission of Zambia Officials for the confusion.
The voters were subjected in one line instead of being separated according to the voter’s registers.
One of the voter Given Bwalya talked complained that he came early in readiness to vote but that the que was static.
But Nakatenge Polling Station Assistant Presiding Officer Dailess Mbewe dismissed the allegation and explained that the Centre had two polling streams.
Ms. Mbewe said those voters whose surnames starts with A to M were in one queue while those from N to Z were put in another line.
She assured the voters that there was nothing sinister about having two queues as opposed to the thinking of the voters.
The situation however returned to normal and more than 100 voters had cast their votes by 08:00 hours.
Meanwhile, at Konde Polling Station, Presiding Officer Agatha Chungu disclosed that the turn-out of voters was good.
Ms. Chungu said the total number of registered voters was 911.
At Kabulonga Boys Polling Station, voting was delayed as the station was only declared open at 06:08 hours while over 100 people already in ques waiting to cast their votes.
ZANIS reports that however, by 06:30 hours over 10 people had voted following an apology by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for the delay in opening the station.
One voter, Isaac Ndhlovu, told ZANIS that he arrived at the polling station around 03:00 hours and was second in the que.
In a related development, Acting President Guy Scott last evening addressed the nation on the eve of the election day and assured the citizens of a free and fair election.