Solwezi employees denied right to vote,

Mrs Esther Lungu casting her vote
Mrs Esther Lungu casting her vote

Despite government declaring today a public holiday to allow workers cast their votes in the presidential by-election, some employees in Solwezi have been denied permission to do so.

A snap survey conducted by ZANIS in the central business district revealed that some shops were open and conducting business normally.

Some workers who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimization told ZANIS that they had been denied chance to travel to their various places to cast their votes by their employers thereby de-franchizing them.

Meanwhile, casting of votes in today’s presidential by-election has started on a low note in Solwezi district with most rural polling stations recording low turnout.

At Luamala basic school in Solwezi East constituency 139 people had cast their votes out of 2091 registered while at Kikombe basic school in Solwezi central constituency 600 had cast their votes out of the registered 2,925 and at Mutanda mission polling station in Solwezi West 30 out of 805 registered voters had cast their votes by press time.

District Electoral officer Venture Kafula said all polling stations opened at 06:00hours and described the turnout as fair and peaceful in most polling stations.

Mr Kafula said the turnout is expected to improve later in the day as most people had gone out into the fields.

Solwezi district has three constituencies namely Solwezi Central, Solwezi East and Solwezi West with combined totals of 98 polling stations and 106,626 registered voters.