It was only in 2011 that Caritas Zambia started monitoring the national elections. Even though there were already many organisations doing so at that time 

Monitoring is very demanding. It requires being involved before, during and after the elections, developing training material, helping in the registration of voters, being involved in the reviewed of the "code of conduct" and, most of all, identifying "monitors". 

There are about ten thousand polling stations and, in order to do a good job, two people had to be appointed to each polling station. In other words... twenty thousand people had to be recruited, trained, and sent. They were able to reach 90% of the polling stations. 

Funders required Caritas Zambia should work with other organisations and they were able to identify seven with whom they could do so. Together they formed the "Civil Society Election's Coalition". 

The whole project was a success. As votes were counted at each polling station before being sent to a central office, Caritas and their partners already had the final results 24 hrs after the elections while the government took three days to announce them. 

The Bishops of the Zambia Episcopal Conference were behind the whole process and very supportive according to the Sam, Director of Caritas.


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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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