Elections

Voters’ registration still a sham – UPND

By SILUMESI MALUMO
THE voter registration exercise is still a shame despite the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) claiming to have deployed more electoral officers, UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma has said.

A check by the Daily Nation found that most of the registration centres still had one or two ECZ officers working.
Only one officer was found working at Matero Secondary School Registration Centre with scores of residents on the queue.
Mr Kakoma said at the pace ECZ was handling the voter registration process, the nine million target was not going to be attained.
He said ECZ needed to register thousands of people in one day to reach the target. Mr Kakoma said in an interview that there was need for more to be done for ECZ to attain its target ahead of the 2021 general elections. He said after visiting some registration centres, he discovered that there were no additional electoral officers which the ECZ promised to deploy.
He said claims of additional electoral officers were rhetoric because what was on the ground was different.
ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano last week said that more officers would be deployed to ease the registration exercise especially in busy areas.
But Mr Kakoma dismissed the claims by the ECZ, stating that the exercise was still a shame.
And a consortium of civil society organisations said ECZ seems not to be doing very well with registering voters in a manner that was free from manipulation and fairness. The organisations that included, Young African Leaders Initiative and Advocates for National Development and Democracy said free and fair elections begin with a registration process that should be free from manipulation.
They said processes offer fair opportunities for all Zambians and regions to register as voters but this was not what the commission was doing.
The consortium told the Journalists in Lusaka yesterday that it also had evidence that the persons in charge of elections and voter educations within the Commission had distributed more registration kits to Southern Province as compared to other provinces with similar voting population.

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