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NDC Statement on ECZ Multiple Breaches of the Electoral Process Act of 2016 Voter Registration

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SECTION 7: ‘ The Commission shall conduct a continuous registration of voters’.

Interpretation: This means that voter registration is an ongoing process that should take place on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis and should never be stopped. The law requires the ECZ to have permanent voter registration centres just like the National Registration Office.
The Law only requires the ECZ to stop voter registration in any district during the period of a by election, or during the period of general elections. Otherwise voter registration is to be done on a daily basis without breaks.

Question: Has the ECZ conducted continuous voter registration since the electoral process Act of 2016?

Answer: The Answer is an emphatic ‘NO’. The ECZ is in breach of the Electoral Process Act of 2016, they have failed to conduct continuous voter registration since 2016, and as such the Chairperson of the ECZ, Commissioners of ECZ and Chief Electoral Officer must be compelled to resign from their positions for being in breach of the law.

PRISONER VOTING

SECTION 9: (1) The commission shall not register a person as a voter if that person

(D) is detained under the Criminal Procedure Code.
(F) is under a sentence of death imposed by a competent court, or a sentence of imprisonment imposed by a court or substituted by a competent authority for some other sentence imposed by that court;

Interpretation: The law is very clear, any person currently serving a prison sentence as a result of a court conviction is not eligible to register as a voter, and the commission is prohibited by law from registering prisoners as voters.

Question: Is the ECZ in breach of the law by registering prisoners as voters?

Answer: It’s an emphatic ‘YES’. The law expressly prohibits the registration of prisoners as voters. The ECZ is therefore in serious breach of the law by proposing to register prisoners as voters.

It is illegal and an offence to register prisoners as voters.

On these grounds the ECZ Chairman and Commissioners must resign in national interest.

VOTER REGISTRATION PROCESS

Section 13. (1) The Commission shall establish a Provisional Register of Voters as prescribed.

Question: Is there a provisional voter register?

Answer: Yes, there is, it was established in 2016 and used in the 2016 General Elections. Infact, the same register is in use today in all by elections that have taken place between 2016 when the voter register was compiled and 2020.Annette Nhekairo ECZ vice chairperson has passed on

Section 14. (1) The Commission shall compile and maintain the Register of Voters as prescribed.

Interpretation:

The key words here and ‘compile’ and maintain’.

In 2016 the ECZ compiled a voter register. Compilation of the register is a once off event which took place in 2016.Therefore, the ECZ only needs to maintain the register that was compiled in 2016.

Question: How should the ECZ maintain the voter register?

Answer: Through continuous voter registration as prescribed in section 7 of the Electoral Process Act of 2016.

Question: Is the ECZ in breach of the law by failing to maintain the register that was compiled in 2016, and proposing to throw it away and create a new register?

Answer: The Answer is yes, the ECZ is in breach of the law, the law requires them to compile a register (which they did in 2016) and to maintain it through continuous voter registration (which they have not done since 2016).

On these grounds again the Chairperson, Chief Electoral Officer and Commissioners of the ECZ must be compelled to resign or be removed from their offices for breach of the electoral act, negligence, and gross incompetence.

SECTION 10 – DEREGISTRATION OF VOTERS

A registration officer shall de-register a voter if the registration officer is satisfied that the voter

(a) does not qualify to be registered as a voter;
(b) no longer meets the qualifications for registration as specified in section eight;
(c) has been fraudulently registered;
(d) obtained the registration through submission of false information or making of a misleading statement Interpretation: What this means is that these are the only circumstances under which a voter can be deregistered.

Question: Is the ECZ in breach of the law by deregistering over 6 Million registered voters ?

Answer: The answer is an emphatic ‘YES’, the ECZ does not have authority under law to deregister any voter unless one of these 4 criteria has been met.

On these grounds again the Chairperson and Commissioners of the ECZ must be compelled to resign for proposing to illegally deregister over 6 million validly registered voters who have not met the above 4 criteria for voter deregistration.

REMOVAL OF DECEASED PERSONS FROM THE VOTER REGISTER

The argument put forward by the ECZ is that they want to create a new voter register because there are a lot of deceased (dead) persons on the register.
So what does the law say about this matter?

Section 16: Amendments to Voters Register 16.

(1) A registration officer shall—
(c) delete the name of a voter who is deceased.

The law is very clear, deceased voters must be deleted from the register.The Law does not allow for the creation of a new register for the reason of knocking off dead people.
The word ‘DELETE’ means to ‘REMOVE’ from an already existing document.You can only delete something from something else that already exists, and what exists is the 2016 Voters Roll, therefore the deceased persons must be deleted from the 2016 voters roll.

Question: Is the ECZ In breach of the Electoral Process Act 2016 by proposing to discard the register for the reason of knocking off deceased people?

Answer : The answer is an emphatic ‘YES’, the law requires the ECZ to ‘DELETE’ the names of deceased persons from the voter roll, it doesn’t require the ECZ to create a new voter roll, in fact there’s nowhere in the law where the ECZ is granted powers to discard the voters roll and create a new one, the law requires them to maintain the existing register on a continuous basis and to register new voters and delete deceased voters. The voters roll has an indefinite life abs no one has authority under the law to discard the voters register.

On this basis again, the Chairperson of the ECZ, Chief Electoral Officer and Commissioners must resign and be prosecuted for breaching the law.

CONCLUSION

Any election conducted by the ECZ through a new voter register is illegal, ultra vires, null and void and is non-binding on the people of Zambia. Any election where prisoners are allowed to vote is illegal, ultra vires, null and void and is non-binding on the people of Zambia.

Any election conducted by the ECZ where the 6.6 million validly registered voters are deleted from the voter register is illegal, ultra vires, null and void and is non-binding on the people of Zambia.

So Zambians should not even consider any process conducted by the ECZ outside of the provisions of the law, that is not an election, it is an illegal attempt to create a dictatorship in the country through an illegal sham electoral process done outside of the provisions of the law.

Zambians should not participate in any purported election done outside of the provisions of the law, it is illegal, null and void, ultra vires and non-binding on the people of Zambia.

All genuine political parties should not participate in any purported election done outside of the provisions of the law, it is illegal, null and void, ultra vires and non-binding on the people of Zambia.

Participating in such an illegal election would be validating it and rubber-stamping illegality and a bogus electoral process conducted outside of the provisions of the law.

If the ECZ proceeds to conduct a purported election conducted outside of the provisions of the law, Zambia will be without a President because any individual supposedly elected through that process shall not be recognized as President of the Republic of Zambia because they would have been elected through a process that is illegal, null and void, ultra vires and outside of the provisions of the law, which will create a constitutional crisis as the country will be without a legally elected Head of State when the tenure of President Edgar Lungu has expired.

COPYRIGHT NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS PARTY (NDC) MEDIA 01.10.2020