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Green Party calls on ECZ to Abandon Fresh Voters Registration



Green Party calls on ECZ to Abandon Fresh Voters Registration

Green Party of Zambia President Peter Sinkamba has called on the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to abandon the fresh registration of voters.

In a statement made available to the media, Mr. Sinkamba said that ECZ lacks the capacity to prepare a fresh voters’ register for the 2021 election and should instead just update the existing voters register.

Below is the full statement


The voter registration exercise that is earmarked to be conducted for thirty days from 18 October this year will just be a sham for five main reasons. First, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has publicly admitted that it lacks funds to run such an exercise. And for that reason, it has reduced the voters’ registration period from five months to one month but expecting to capture the same number of nine million voters in this period.

This expectation is certainly not realistic and unattainable. ECZ also lack human resource capacity to prepare a brand new voters’ register of nine million voters in thirty days period. Thirdly, the National Registration Card (NRC) issuance exercise is in jeopardy for various reasons, including financial. Fourth, the thirty-day timeframe designated by ECZ for voter registration, which included in the rain season is unrealistic to capture nine million voters. Fifth, the target number of voters earmarked to be registered is unattainable considering that there will not be a holiday for workers to do so, and farmers will be busy in the fields.

Holding of NRC is a condition to register as a voter. NRCs are not being issued at in all of the 103 permanent district offices of the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship. Rather, this exercise is only being carried out in selected places.Green Party calls on ECZ to Abandon Fresh Voters Registration

In the previous election, voters with existing voters cards did not require to re-register. Rather, they were only required to verify that there particulars and voting centers were correct. And in any case, the voter registration update conducted by the ECZ was for six months from September 2015 to February 2016 and captured only one million five hundred new voters. If in six months, only one point five million voters were captured, how feasible is to achieve nine million voters?

The Department of National Registration is targeting to issue out seven hundred and fifty thousand new cards. So afar, less than fifty thousand have been issued in the last six months. We think that the scheduling of the voter registration exercise is wrong because over seven hundred thousand eligible voters have not yet received their NRCs.

We therefore propose that ECZ abandons the new voter registration project and instead just update the register so that the number of new entrants in the register is relatedly small and achievable. To continue assuming that ECZ will manage to register nine million voters in one month is simply wishful thinking.

Peter Sinkamba
Green Party of Zambia
8 September, 2020



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