By SENIYA BANDA
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has so far registered slightly over 2.7 million voters in the ongoing voter registration exercise against the targeted nine million.
And the ECZ said it has no intention to extend the current voter registration exercise scheduled to end on December 12.
Speaking at a media briefing on the voter registration exercise, which is in the third phase, Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshidano said they noted concerns raised by stakeholders and have since decided to increase and deploy more voter registration officers and voter registration kits across the country.
Mr Nshindano has said this has been beefed up by extending hours of operation at civic centers across the country and selected registration centers.
“The commission among some other interventions, has increased and deployed a number of voter registration officers across the country , in addition to that, the commission has also extended hours at civic centers across the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Nshindano said the prisoner voter registration exercise will start after the completion of the current phase.
‘’ The prisoner voter registration exercise will commence on the last week of the process and stakeholders will be informed of the location at which the exercise will be done for transparency purposes,’’ he said
And Mr Nshindano has clarified that the challenges in selected centers across the country on the registration kits was as a result of the automatic log out feature on the machine which led to delaying in commencing the exercise.
He explained that this is the security feature embedded in the kits cut off at the exercise to ensure that no one conducts registration.
He said therefore the log out on kits meant an end to phase two of the exercise that was completed on Tuesday 24 November, 2020.
And Mr Nshidano said the commission is assessing the situation on whether to extend the exercise or not following calls by stakeholders to do so.
He said at the end of the exercise the commission will review and assess the situation before considering the exercise.
‘’Allow me to also apologize for the inconvenience experienced on Wednesday in selected centres across the country due to the automatic log out of the system hence delaying the commencement time. The security feature embedded in the kits cut off at the exercise to ensure that no one conducts registration but some registration officers were guided accordingly on how to log in after the expiry however some failed,” he said .
By SENIYA BANDA