United States Provides over 11 Million Kwacha in Support of a Free, Fair, Transparent, and Peaceful Presidential Election

January 6, 2015

Embassy of the United States of America
Lusaka, Zambia

The United States and Zambia Partnering Together

NR/1053/01/06/15
For Immediate Release

Contact:
Public Affairs Officer
Phone: 357000

Lusaka — The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided 11.3 million Kwacha ($1.8 million) to support a free, fair, transparent, and peaceful presidential election in Zambia on January 20, 2015. In addition to providing this support, U.S. Embassy representatives will join the thousands of domestic monitors across all 10 provinces in observing the election.

K11.3 Million from USAID

The majority of the K11.3 million provided by USAID will promote electoral oversight by sending civil society observers to all of Zambia’s 150 constituencies and training poll watchers from each political party with a candidate standing in the upcoming presidential election. The remaining funds will support the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) with voter education and outreach activities to promote voter awareness of their rights and responsibilities. This portion of U.S. support is part of a larger “basket fund” provided by the international donor community to the ECZ and administered by the United Nations Development Program.

“The United States enjoys excellent collaboration with the Zambian government and international partners, and we are committed to the Zambian people as they move toward the January 20 presidential election,” said U.S. Ambassador Eric Schultz. “We applaud the Electoral Commission of Zambia and Zambian civil society for their professionalism and efficiency in organizing the election. We hope our support will not only benefit the 2015 election but also strengthen our partnership as Zambia moves toward the future.”

Planning for Unbiased Election Observation with Zambian NGO and International Partners

In addition to the USAID donation, the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka is joining hundreds of domestic and international election observer teams in over three thousand polling stations across Zambia. Together, these ECZ-accredited local and diplomatic electoral observers will provide professional and unbiased oversight to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process. U.S. Embassy observers will be present at polling places across all 10 provinces in urban and rural constituencies. The United States identified its areas of observation and support in close cooperation with the ECZ, local civil society organizations, and other international donor partners. The United States commends the ECZ for its work in ensuring the credibility of electoral ballots and the overall election process and encourages all parties to allow the ECZ to conduct its business on behalf of the Zambian people without intimidation or manipulation.

Peaceful Rallies, Public Debates and Balanced Media Coverage

The U.S. Government urges the continued vigilance of all Zambians to protect their treasured tradition of free and peaceful elections. Peaceful rallies, debates, and balanced press coverage are essential to educating the public about the candidates’ platforms in the upcoming presidential election. The U.S. Government encourages all parties to participate fully in public debates, which provide voters with a unique opportunity to assess and question the candidates. We join the Zambian government and political leaders in condemning any use of political violence or intimidation. We applaud the Zambia Police Service for its success to date in containing incidents of violence and encourage the police to continue their work in a fair manner, irrespective of the party perpetuating violent acts. All parties should be able to peacefully campaign in all parts of the country.