In a report on Diamond TV on 5th July 2021, the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) claimed that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) was responsible for the absence of UPND representatives in Dubai to observe the printing of ballot papers for the August 12 General Elections. The post refers to a statement made by the UPND Secretary General Mr. Batuka Imenda claiming the ECZ allowed them to process an incorrect visa. The report further quotes the UPND Elections Chairperson Mr. Garry Nkombo stated that “the Visa for the UPND representative Mr. Richard Njolomba which unfortunately was rejected as he needed a Government to Government consented Visa which could only be gotten through the Elections body”. Mr. Nkombo further stated in the Facebook video that “he felt the nullification of the Visa was a deliberate ploy by the officers in the offices that are controlling the process”. As a result of Mr Njolomba’s failure to travel, Mr Nkombo said the UPND had sent an alternative party representative based in London to monitor the printing of ballot papers in Dubai.
Evidence and References
The fact checking relied on evidence, including the following
• A media statement by ECZ on the commencement of ballot papers printing https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LQMEEGf2ns0lfQY2ZiIcr0gjW_rC8gdf/view
• A Facebook Live Video of UPND press statement https://www.facebook.com/OfficialUPNDZambia/videos/501633501119839/
• A Facebook Live Video of UPND press statement https://www.facebook.com/112402833633631/posts/366386641568581/
• Statement from ECZ on the requirements for the representative. https://www.facebook.com/130763663658535/posts/4086358801432315/