THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is targeting to register 2.5 million new voters to add to the 3.9 million currently on the 2006 register to bring the voter’s roll to about 6.4 million.
ECZ deputy director in charge of Information Technology Brown Kasaro said this in Lusaka on Wednesday when he presented a paper on the Implementation of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) at a stakeholders meeting.
Mr Kasaro said the commission’s projections are based on the Central Statistics Office (CSO) data which estimates that there are currently 6.4 million Zambians eligible to vote.
The CSO projects that there are 659,033 people in Central Province who are over 18 while Copperbelt has 1,033,211 with Eastern Province having 839,691.
Luapula residents who are over the age of 18 are estimated at 536,443, while in Lusaka the number is 927,841 with Northern Province having 801,224.
Those over 18 in North-Western Province are estimated at 372,372 while in Southern Province the number is 777,362 with Western Province having 487,095.
Zambia’s current estimated population stands at more than 12 million.
In 2000, the CSO announced Zambia’s population at 10,618,500.
The ECZ will in June this year embark on a continuous mobile voter registration exercise to last until September.
Mr Kasaro said the registration will commence with an initial 90-day mobile campaign in each of the 150 constituencies.
He said a minimum of six registration officers will be deployed in each constituency.
Mr Kasaro said the CVR will entail the continuous updating of the existing voters’ register through the registration of eligible citizens.
He said the exercise will also entail the replacement of voters’ cards in cases of loss or damage, change of details and transfer of voters from one polling district to another.
The exercise will provide for the removal of the deceased from the voters’ register and amendment of other details by registered voters.
Mr Kasaro said those who registered in 2005 do not need to register again but verify their details.
Government has this year allocated K70 billion for the CVR.
ECZ chairperson Florence Mumba said at the stakeholders meeting that the Commission would only be able to conduct its first phase of the continuous mobile voter registration because of insufficient funds.
“The budget has provided K70 billion towards the implementation of continuous voter registration.
With this level of funding, it is surely not possible to decentralise the continuous voter registration as earlier planned. Therefore, the commission has undertaken to commence the registration through periodic mobile registration campaigns,” Mrs Mumba said.
She said funds permitting, the exercise may continue later in the year.
Mrs Mumba said during the periodic continuous mobile voter registration exercise, mobile teams equipped with digital mobile registration kits will be deployed in each of the 72 districts of the country.
She said each registration centre under the exercise will be open for 12 days.
Mrs Mumba said continuous mobile voter registration will include periodic closures to allow the commission to update the voters’ register.
[Zambia Daily Mail]