Opposition New Hope Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) National Secretary Hon. Elizabeth Chitika has said that the proposed 30 days Voter registration might lead to a high 2021 voter apathy.
The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) through its Chief Electoral Officer Kryticous Nshindano yesterday announced that the Voter exercise will run for 30 days and will start on the 18th of October, 2020. He further announced that they will soon undertake a fresh registration of old Voters.
Hon. Chitika in a statement circulated to media houses this morning said that the New Hope MMD welcomed the ECZ pronouncement.
“We as the Mother of Democracy in Zambia have welcomed the long awaited pronouncements by the Electoral Commission of Zambia. The move by the commission to introduce various avenues for voter registration like Mobile and Online is long over due and a welcome move”, Hon. Chitika said.
Hon. Chitika then took a swipe at the proposed 30 days Voter registration.
“We however have a bone to chew with the commission over the proposed 30 days Voter registration. This is due to a number of reasons which include this exercise is not the usual exercise as it involves creating a New Voters Register which will aim to capture 9 million voters. Secondly, we have to bear in mind that we are living in the Post Covid 19 period and the World Health Organization has indicated that COVID 19 might be here to stay. So there is a high likelihood that it might still be around by October 18, hence a number of people might stay away from the exercise from Fear that they might get the virus whilst undertaking the exercise”, Hon. Chitika.
Hon. Chitika then called upon the Commission to increase the exercise to 90 days.
“Lastly but not the least, We as the New Hope MMD are of the view that the Commission should increase the exercise period to 90 days from the announced 30 days. We believe that within 90 days the commission can achieve it’s target of 9 million voters. Unless, they have other hidden agendas with their 30 days announcement”, Hon. Chitika said.