US puts $1.6m in poll


THE United States (US) government will provide US$1.6 million support to Zambia for the January 20, 2015 presidential election.
And Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska has issued a circular to all ministers not to use government resources during presidential election campaigns.
US ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz said when he paid a courtesy call on Acting President Guy Scott yesterday that Zambia has a proud tradition of democratic change.
“The US will provide financial and moral support to ensure the election meet the required standards. We will provide a total of US$1.6 million for the January 20 election,” he said.
Mr Schultz said the funding will be given to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) through the United Nations (UN) and part of the funds will be provided to non-governmental election monitors.
ECZ presented a K344 million budget to the Treasury for the forthcoming presidential election.
Mr Schultz said his government supports free and fair elections that ensure democratic change.
“The United States strongly supports a free, fair, transparent and peaceful campaign and presidential election on January 20,” he said.
Mr Schultz said democracy plays an important role in attracting foreign direct investment and that he will work hard to bring more America investors to Zambia.
He said Zambia has a legacy of peace, stable democracy and that he is optimistic that this will continue in the upcoming election.
Mr Schultz said the US government will continue to partner with the Zambian government in sectors such as health and agriculture.
He added that he will work to attract more foreign direct investment from America that will create jobs for Zambians.
Mr Schultz said this will be enhanced if Zambia continues enhancing its democracy.
And Dr Scott has said that a circular has been issued to all ministers not to use government resources during campaigns.
Dr Scott said Dr Msiska has issued the circular to ensure free and fair elections.
He commended the police for remaining vigilant and ensuring that the campaigns are peaceful.
Dr Scott added that the police will ensure all perpetrators of violence are brought to book.
He urged politicians not to ferry supporters from one town to another.
“It is outrageous to move cadres from Lusaka to another town. They are the ones causing the violence. I want to commend the police for the good job they are doing. I am in constant talks with the Inspector General [of Police Stella Libongani],” Dr Scott said.
He called on Zambians to turn out in numbers and vote during next month’s presidential election.
Dr Scott also said Zambians should think carefully when electing the next President.