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ECZ taken to task on ICTs

Priscilla Isaac

TEDDY KUYELA, Parliament
THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday took Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) director Priscilla Isaac and her team to task for failing to explain why the commission has been operating without an information and communication technology (ICT) strategic plan when it is at the centre of managing elections in Zambia.
The committee, chaired by Chipangali member of Parliament (MP) Vincent Mwale (MMD), expressed concern at the continued failure by the commission to come up with a plan that is required to manage and direct all ICT resources in line with the business strategy and priorities.
PAC expressed concern yesterday when Ms Isaac and her directors from all the key departments appeared before it to answer to audit queries cited in the 2012 Auditor-General’s report.
Committee member Patrick Mucheleka, who is Lubansenshi Independent MP, wondered why it has taken so long for the commission to come up with an ICT strategic plan which could help improve the operations of ECZ if well implemented.
Mr Mucheleka said it is sad that ECZ has failed to come up with an ICT strategic plan especially that the commission recently wanted to introduce the electronic counting system in the just-ended Vubwi and Kasenengwa parliamentary by-elections.
Another committee member, January Zimba, who is Chama North MP (PF) said failure by the commission to implement an ICT strategic plan can land the country into chaos especially that Zam-bians are expecting it to implement the electronic counting system during elections.
Mr Mwale has also urged the commission to take serious steps to address the electoral challenges that the country has been experiencing over the years.
In her response, Ms Isaac assured the committee that the commission will ‘work round the clock’ to ensure that the ICT strategic plan is soon implemented.
Ms Isaac, who was at pains responding to most questions from MPs, also assured the committee that ECZ is implementing other programmes that will help improve its operations.

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