Friday, April 12, 2024

ECZ is obliged to conduct the exercise, with or without Covid-19-Sishuwa


Political Activist Sishuwa Sishuwa has charged that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has no legal powers to suspend continuous voter registration.

Recently, ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano stated that the Commission is revising its elections calendar due to the outbreak of Covid-19 noting that the revision might affect the voter registration exercise which might subsequently affect the holding of the August 12 2021 elections.

The Commission subsequently clarified that it has only suspended voter registration but has no legal mandate to postpone the holding of elections as such events are regulated by the constitution.

But Dr Sishuwa stated that the ECZ has the obligation to conduct continuous voter registration as the body has no powers to suspend the exercise.

“Section 7 of the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 mandates the Commission to conduct continuous voter registration. The Commission has no legal mandate to suspend the exercise unless an election is due, to facilitate publication and inspection of the voters’ register”, Dr Sishuwa said.

He added, “The law says voter registration shall be continuous. The use of the word “shall” means the ECZ is obliged to conduct the exercise, with or without Covid-19, as is the case with requirement to hold elections. The exercise can only stop for purposes of conducting an election.”

He added, “Think of it this way. Assume the threat of Covid-19 does not diminish until August 2021. Does this mean that the Commission will not conduct voter registration before the general election but will proceed to conduct the general election thereby disfranchising many eligible voters?”

Dr Sishuwa said the Act is clear on the need to hold continuous voter registration.

“What ECZ probably wants is to conduct online registration of voters, which is easier to manipulate. Remember they even attempted to start online voter registration in the absence of a statutory provision to support their action. So ECZ is delaying the start of voter registration because they want Parliament to pass the Electoral Process Amendment Bill of 2019, which provides for online registration of voters.”


  1. “… Political Activist Sishuwa Sishuwa has charged that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has no legal powers to postpone an election…”
    NO!!! THE CORRECT SENTENCE IS SUPPOSE TO READ, “….upnd cadre Sishuwa Sishuwa has charged that the Electoral Commission of Zambia has no legal powers to postpone an election… ”
    ECZ already cleared this issue, we don’t need cadres to comment on national matters beyond their understanding, thank you!!!!

    Performance Failure (PF)”. Kkkkkk………..

  3. I forgot Zaninge Barbershop was closed a long time ago!

  4. Naseka lelo my garden boy and security guard and my body guard were having a chat about having sex with their wives with a mask on during this pandemic. Hahaha. This is madness.i almost fired them for almost giving me heart attack with laughter

  5. ECZ must reform, this time around we should be talking of registering online.

    The problem with ECZ is that it has been used as a tool to manipulate the election results.

    Voters registrations done online would have been done easily. For the rural dwellers, they would have just created centres where to register and in the similar manner they register and collect NRCs at those centers.

    I feel we are enemies of ourselves and we must change.

  6. Senseless rubbish. We know how desperate you are to be in power but please spare us this nonsense.

  7. PF lack common sense. We voted for them because they gave us hope that things will be Ok, 9 years down the line they have destroyed everything, now even ECZ members are party cadres no integrity nor morals .

  8. @Zambian Citizen, are we reading the same story? Dr Sishuwa has raised a fair argument – that ECZ has no legal authority to suspend the continuous voter registration exercise, contrary to what madam Margaret Chimanse, the ECZ spokesperson, told the country recently. To support his position, the UNZA academician has cited the relevant law. Do you disagree with what he has said? If yes, why and can you please show us the source of your position? Or are you one of those who are unable to put across a point, settling instead for the easy position of calling anyone with a country view a supporter of the opposition?

  9. @ Bana Mulenga, trust me, you are as good as talking to a brick wall. Some people will always pick the easy way out of dressing down someone instead of raising a counter argument.

  10. Bana Mulenga and other UPND cadres, so in your view nothing ca affect the calendar of the voter registration? Even if covid19 evolved into a high motality epidemic, voter registration cannot be suspended just because you think HH has already won. Too bad.

  11. why is it that I only see comments from Bemba names especially those in support of UPND? Why? This strategy is sick.

  12. @Ken, the ECZ has said they cannot suspend holding of elections, including local government by-elections, because the law obliges the electoral body to hold them. The UNZA man has said the law also obliges the ECZ to hold continuous voter registration. This is what the law provides for and until it is changed, not even covid can affect the status quo. This, to me, sounds like a fair argument. Why is ECZ cherry-picking which law to respect and which one to abrogate? If people can queue up to vote in a local government by-election while observing social distancing, why should anyone assume that they can’t do the same in relation to queuing up for voter registration? Call me and Dr Sishuwa names, if that is the best you can afford, but the university man has raised valid questions that…

  13. Ken why r bye elections going to take place has CONVID finished if not then even voter registration can go on.

  14. Sishuwa please lose the beard man. It’s cool but it sends the wrong message to the young ones. Your platform is big enough to influence and instill professionalism/excellence not only in academia but society at large. White academics look good donning a beard but for us darkies, it makes us look like gangtas. Better yet keep it nicely trimmed. But a full shave is the way to go for a man of your calibre.

  15. @ Ken, the issue is the law. Laws are made by people. If you are not gappy with a law, change it, don’t break it.

  16. Ken and fudging Zambian Citizen, please argue contgent, not the person, Sishuwa is an independ thinker who has challenged both the UPND and PF. Dont label anone who questions the PF as being UPND supporters, and even if they were, please counter their arguments with reason and logic, it doesnt make sense to simply say, ‘we expect this from you because you are UPND’
    Reminds me of the previous general elections, ifintu ni Lungu, why? Because he was th chosen one, LOL.

  17. The man Sishuwa, though I don’t usually agree with him, he has a valid point. Let ECZ continue with the registration of voters so we can beat UPND fair and square. Kz

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