POLITICAL parties participating in the February 25, 2014 Katuba parliamentary by-election yesterday verified ballot papers for the polls at the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) offices in Lusaka.
The by-election follows the death of MMD Member of Parliament and Health Deputy Minister Patrick Chikusu.
ECZ senior electoral officer Zachariah Kunda led the verification process of the ballot papers, which started around 10:30 hours.
Political party representatives said they were satisfied with the exercise and expressed confidence of winning the by-election.
UNIP representative Henry Silumesi said his party had not noticed any irregularity during the verifications process.
He, however, expressed concern at the continued printing of ballot papers outside Zambia.
“We are spending too much money by printing ballot papers abroad,” he said.
Patriotic Front representative John Phiri said the verification was transparent and commended all political parties for cooperating during the process.
Agenda for Better Zambia (ABZ) representative Philemon Mwape said the verification process had gone on well and expressed confidence that his party would win the election.
Representatives from the MMD and United Party for National Development (UPND) refused to comment.
The verification process also involved other ballots for local Government elections being held in various parts of the country.
There were 13 boxes for the Katuba by-election, four for the Wusakile local Government by-election, and one for a local Government by-election Chililabombwe.
Others were one box for Katwe Ward by-election in Mpulungu, one box for Namando Ward in Luampa, one ballot box for Ipumbu Ward in Mpongwe and another one for Lumbo Ward for Mongu Central.
There was also one box for posters for Katuba Constituency and another for local Government by-elections.
Seven candidates from the PF, MMD, UNIP, UPND, National Restoration Party (NAREP), National Revolution Party (NRP) and ABZ are jostling for the vacant Katuba parliamentary seat.
These are Moses Chilando for PF, Cecil Holmes for MMD, Friday Malawo representing UNIP, Jonas Shakafuswa on the UPND ticket, and Joseph Mushalika for NAREP.
Others are Shakespeare Mwakamui representing NRP, and the ABZ candidate Patricia Mwashingwele.