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Zambia: Netizens Fill Void of Delayed Election Results

Eighteen hours after Zambia’s September 20 elections closed, inordinate delays by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to release presidential, parliamentary and local government results have led social media sources to give out the much yearned for information.

Zambian Economist is giving regular updates of the results:

We shall post below the constitution picture has it emerge for each province. Please let us know of results as you have them. The page will be regularly updated.

Supporters of Zambian presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema display his campaign posters. Image by Owen Miyanza, copyright Demotix (02/09/2011).

Supporters of Zambian presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema display his campaign posters. Image by Owen Miyanza, copyright Demotix (02/09/2011).

At the time of writing this post, opposition party Patriotic Front (PF), which is tipped to comfortably win, had 45 seats out of the possible 150, while the ruling party MMD had eight and other opposition party, the United Party for National Democracy (UPND) had three.

One contributor was however not happy with the Zambian Economist post. Alphoncious H. said:

This forum sounds for sure supporting PF. It is trying by all means to demean other political parties taking part in these elections. I think it is not an encouraging source to get information

On the Facebook group Zambian Peoples Pact, netizens were trying to make sense out of the situation.

Tina Banda wrote this about the PF secretary general:

VERY OFFICIAL FROM RELIABLE SOURCE—Wynter Kabimba has written to Ireen Mambilima to start announcing results because according to the RESULTS collected by PF secretariat ,the PF LEADER SATA is leading Country wide by 59% while RB 32%.They have collected results in all polling stations were counting is finished and SATA is headed for VICTORY No doubt.

On another Facebook group, Election Results – Zambia, there was an unofficial trickle of results.

Deli Bwalya posted the following:

Chipata Central MP: MMD 14065, PF 10412, Presidential MMD 16224, PF 8952. Hands down for Mangani (a former minister in the MMD government who resigned his position to join PF) well fought but bye bye.

On another Facebook group, the situation was the same.

Kennedy Kaluluma announced to fellow netizens an upcoming press conference by an ECZ official:

It's official Elo lwanya!!! tsunami yayisa. VIva PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF! wow! Mambillima is going to have a press conference shortly. Let's wait and see. (It’s official. It is getting interesting, a tsunami is on the way Viva PF. ECZ chairperson, Justice Ireen Mambilima is about to hold a press conference)

On Twitter, tweeps were reporting a fatality in the mining town of Solwezi, some 700 km to the northwest of Lusaka, where people were allegedly battling election officials after unsealed ballot boxes were brought to the counting centre.

@TwentyKwacha: oh no. RT @mwabizo: Riots in solwezi turn fatal as one person is reported dead.#bantuwatch #zambianelections

The ECZ has said that it will announce the official results on 22 September, 2011, two days after polling day.

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