Former FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi says printing ballot papers locally will give Zambia a sense of pride.

Welcoming President Edgar Lungu’s assurance that 2021 ballot papers would be printed in Zambia by Government Printers, Chipenzi said there were a lot of benefits which would accrue to the country.

“They spend so much money to print ballots abroad; that is a share waste of resources. We should move away from that and start doing it locally. The printing of political ballots outside the country costs a lot of money, it would bring employment if done within our country,” Chipenzi said.

“If we print our own ballots as a country, it will bring back the foreign exchange, of course we have a number of young people who are unemployed who will find employment, the Treasury will have a lot of resources from the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) therefore increasing the tax revenues in the country. And also there will be national pride because our country will be self reliant.”

He said Government Printers needed to be recapitalized.

“It is very clear that what we have been advocating for, for some time now was the truth except that they pretended as if they were not hearing us. Now they have seen that it is the right way to go. But it should take all the stakeholders including political parties to provide security once the process starts. And government printers must be recapitalized to make it functional,” said Chipenzi.