Africa 15.8.2016 10:43 am

Zambian president maintains narrow lead in presidential race

Zambian President Edgar Lungu Photo: AFP

Zambian President Edgar Lungu Photo: AFP

A suspect was arrested at a polling centre on Sunday on charges related to tampering with the election results.

Incumbent Zambia President Edgar Lungu has maintained a slight lead in the presidential race, polling 1 454 165 votes against 1 383 594 garnered by main opposition UPND candidate Hakainde Hichilema.

Lungu’s lead over Hichilema has been stretched to 70 571 votes as the country awaits the last batch of results from the remaining 24 constituencies by midday on Monday. Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Justice Esau Lungu announced the results from 132 out of 156 constituencies at 2.40am in Lusaka on Monday morning.

Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) party candidate Edith Nawakwi remained a distant third, trailing with 20 592 votes. The other seven candidates had negligible tallies, commanding between 2 000 votes and 13 000 votes each.

Justice Chulu said the outcome was from 2 969 700 votes cast and represented a total voter turnout of 56.22% in the presidential election. Further, he said 69 286 votes were rejected during the verification process.

Meanwhile, Zambian police have confirmed the arrest of a Presiding Officer at the Chinika School Polling Station in the Kanyama Constituency in connection, with a case of election results that disappeared from his station in the past few days.

The suspect was arrested at the polling centre on Sunday and remains in custody pending initial appearance in court on charges related to tampering with the election results.

In other election-related crimes, the District Electoral Officer Francis Nkhoma of the Mpongwe Constituency has confirmed the discovery of the discarded lid of a 2016 parliamentary ballot box with Electoral Commission of Zambia serial number ECZ -16 0430212.

Nkhoma said police were already investigating the circumstances around the lid that was located in a bushy area a few metres away from the Mpongwe district totalling centre on Saturday night.

In the north of the country, police in Kasama constituency have detained a man who attempted to use his deceased uncle’s identity document to vote in the recent elections.

In Lusaka, police have arrested a man for allegedly swindling at least 540 youths of thousands of Kwacha in fees for a fake election monitor training programme, which would assure them of recruitment as observers by a fictitious organisation called the Movement for Economic Freedom.

On Saturday, hundreds of youths besieged the Emasdale police station in Lusaka demanding the arrest and their refunds from the man. Police spokespersonh Rae Hamoonga said the suspect duped the youths into paying him up to P1000 kwacha each for the election monitor/observer training programme. Further, he allegedly promised them jobs as observers during the elections last week.

However, the suspect, who “trained” and issued the youths with fake certificates of competence printed on a purported Movement for Economic Freedom logo disappeared shortly before the polls. He was on the run until his arrest in Lusaka on Sunday night.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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