TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka
THE United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and two other co-operating partners have given the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) US$7.7 million for electoral support.
UNDP country coordinator Janet Rogan said the funds will be used in the 2015- 2017 electoral support project for the consolidation of the electoral process in Zambia.
She said this in Lusaka yesterday during the launch of the UNDP project dubbed `Consolidation of the electoral process in Zambia: support to the electoral cycle 2015-2017â€™.
â€œThis project is being undertaken by the United Kingdom, Irish Aid and UNDP itself. US$7.7 million is being invested in this project which aims to make a significant further step in enhancing the quality of elections in Zambia.
â€œWork will continue after the general elections on longer term issues including decentralisation of the Electoral Commission, improving the linkages between the voter registration database and the civil register, and so forth.
â€œThe project will also support ECZ to review the processes of these general elections and consider what further improvements might be made in future,â€ Ms Rogan said.
She said the project will enhance the quality of elections in Zambia by focusing on improving areas such as voter education, auditing the voter registration database and timely transmission of results.
Ms Rogan said the project will also focus on enhancing the civil society and mediaâ€™s understanding of the commissionâ€™s operations and training of police in election management.
She said she is also concerned with the increasing cases of political violence and further appealed to all political leaders in the country to educate their cadres on the need to desist from violence.
â€œViolence has no place in politics or elections in Zambia or elsewhere.
â€œNo political party should tolerate its members, supporters or cadres engaging in violence or intimidation before, during or after elections.
â€œLeaders of political parties must ensure that their people do not indulge in such behaviour and the police needs to act swiftly if they do,â€ Ms Rogan said.
ECZ chairperson Essau Chulu has commended the UNDP and the international community for the funds.
Justice Chulu said the financial support of US$7.7 million would enable the commission-deliver a credible election.
TEDDY KUYELA, Lusaka