12 August 2016 Last updated at: 6:53 AM

Counting of ballots is underway in Zambia 2016 general election

Counting of ballots is underway in Zambia 2016 general election after polls closed at 18 hours .

In Livingstone voting closed around 18: 00 hours in several polling stations of the Constituency with a sustained high voter turnout.

A check at Dambwa Central Welfare Hall, Old Boma, Rainbow, Mars Clinic and Dambwa Basic School revealed that the voting process has closed around 18: 00 hours.

However, there were few cases where voting opened slightly after 06:00 hours in the morning and the polls closed after 18:00 hours to accommodate the lost time.

Zambia Elections

Zambia votes being counted. .

By 19:00 hours, the counting of ballot papers had started in most stations.

Southern Province Commissioner of Police Godwin Phiri said the voting exercise had been very peaceful in the Province from the time that polls opened around 06:00 hours.

However, there some polling stations that delayed to open at 6am and will not have closed at 18hours.

Meanwhile voting is under way at Muchinga in Mansa Central due to high voter turnout because as long as a voter turned up for voting before 18 hours they cannot be turned away until the cast the vote.

Muchinga Presiding Officer John Kalombo said the station has 4, 995 voters and by press time over 3,000 had voted.

The Presiding Officer at Kaole Rest House Lumanda Evans in Bahati constituency said 1 500 had cast their votes at close time.

At the Civic centre polling station Mansa Central only 400 electorates cast their ballots out of the 800 registered number of voters.

Meanwhile the Electoral Commission of Zambia says it will follow up with the suppliers of the self-inking stamps used in the official marking of ballot papers in today’s polls.

ECZ Director Priscilla Isaac says the stamps used in the voting process were giving faint marks after marking a certain number of ballots.

Speaking during a briefing at the Results Center this evening, Mrs Isaac said the polling staff were advised to mark the ballot papers with the word “Official” in the presence of monitors and polling agents.

Mrs Isaac said the alternative provision communicated to poll staff is the use of ink pads.

Meanwhile, the commission has disclosed that voting in selected wards of Nalolo started at 16:05.

Mrs Isaac said the polling staff had challenges delivering the election materials due to the bad terrain in the area.

She explained that the first vehicle as well as the retrieval one broke down.

She however disclosed that the ECZ has arranged with Zambia Airforce to have the staff retrieved once voting closes in the early hours of the morning.

Meanwhile Residents and electoral stakeholders in Mansa Luapula province say the high voter turn out recorded in today’s polls is a clear indication that Zambia is a champion of democracy and beacon of Peace in Africa.-LusakaTimes

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