Print ballot papers locally – ZCTU

Ballot Box
Ballot Box

THE Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has challenged the Government to consider printing election ballot papers locally to reduce on extra costs.
ZCTU president Leonard Hikaumba said Government should avoid certain expenditures in the 2014 national Budget by printing ballot papers within the country.
Speaking at a pre-2014 National Budget Workshop in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Hikaumba said if Government Printers did not have the capacity to print ballot papers, Government should find a printing company within the country.
Mr Hikaumba said printing of ballots locally would not only reduce on the country’s expenses but create employment opportunities for the citizens.
He also called on parliamentarians to stop inducing costly by-elections as they could still lobby for resources to develop their constituencies without defecting to the ruling party.
“We are challenging the Government once more to ensure ballots are printed locally. This will help create jobs and reduce costs, jobs should not be taken outside. As for MPs, they can still develop their constituencies without moving from one party to another,” Mr Hikaumba said.
Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) president Ibrahim Ghndor called on African nations to exempt civil service workers from paying tax as their wages were low.
Mr Ghndor said African countries needed to interact, cooperate and utilise their resources to reduce poverty and create jobs.
“Africa is one of the richest continents in terms of resources such as oil, fertile land, minerals and good weather, yet it still remains poor with low literacy levels,” Mr Ghndor said.
“In order to meet the challenges we face as Africans, there is need for country cooperation and unity. Countries within the continent need to sell and buy from each other in order to have a strong economic community.”
He urged politicians to desist from tribal-based politics if the continent was to attain its goals, saying the need to focus on development was important compared to any given ethnic tribe.