Monday, June 17, 2024

Bottlenecks in Voter Registration due to Government Poor Funding to ECZ

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The commencement of the Mobile Voter Registration exercise by the Electoral Commission of Zambia is an exercise that all electoral players and stakeholders must not only embrace but also take seriously going forward. Primary among the stakeholders that need to attach great significance to this exercise are government and the ECZ itself generally and specifically respectively. These, according to our understanding, as OYV, are the critical duty bearers that have to by all means turn the wheels of equity and equality regarding citizens’ voter registration and exercise of their right to vote and be voted into office at whatever level of their choice.

While we conquer with the Republican Vice President Her Honor Madam Inonge Wina’s appeal to the ECZ to deal with the bottlenecks that have surfaced on the very first day of the Mobile Voter Registration exercise, we note with disappointment that such a call is coming from the second highest office in the nation which office knows too well the merger resources given to the ECZ to undertake this mammoth exercise.

This is nothing but hypocrisy. One of and the most inhibiting factor to efficacy results by the ECZ is the insufficient funding by the Treasury during such an important period. The PF Government and the Vice President in particular must own up and fund the ECZ adequately to attain its target of registering a minimum of 9 million voters.

The deficiencies exposed on the very first day of the Mobile Voter Registration exercise are beyond just teething problems. Most if not all seem schemed by the duty bearers to as much as possible disenfranchise the rights holders.

As OYV, we challenge the Government and the ECZ, that if indeed there is no scheming and collusion between them to disadvantage citizens and disenfranchise some eligible voters, the following shortcomings must be addressed immediately:

  1. Adequate funding must be released immediately to the ECZ – we cannot as a country afford the luxury of wasting huge sums of resources on the campaign for Bill No. 10 that was meant to profit a few persons and also losing moneys to a tune of more than 1.3 billion COVID 19 donations to a few individuals while projects and programmes meant to benefit all citizens like the Mobile Issuance of NRCs and the Mobile Voter Registration are ill financed and schemed to fail;
  2. The ECZ must deploy a minimum of 3 Field Voter Registration Officers at each Registration Centre if at all seriousness is attached to the process but also to attaining the target of 9 million voters by 12th December, 2020;
  3. The cheap material being used to produce the Voters’ Cards be recalled and replaced by better quality material if at all ECZ really means well in terms durability of the card but also if the overhauling of the Voters’ Roll is to make significant sense – otherwise the country risks spending again soon after the 2021 elections on the Registration of Voters; and
  4. The Government and ECZ have no option but to bring sanity to Voter Registration exercise while the citizens especially the those eligible to register as voters must refuse to be subjected to ill treatment by standing long hours on end in unending queues due to the snail’s pace movement of the process and cheap material when the country can afford better except resources are being plundered at our watch.

In conclusion OYV is of the conviction that Zambia has all it takes for citizens to receive better quality services in a more conducive manner and environment, and that this requires the duty bearers are guided by principles and values espoused in our Constitution one hand and demand for equality, transparent and accountability of the service providers by the rights holders (the citizens).

If no one is to be left behind, disadvantaged and disenfranchised come 2021 national elections on 12 August, 2021, the right things must be done now – by avoiding the hypocrisy and addressing the above noted shortcomings among others.

For and on Behalf of Operation Young Vote (OYV)
Guess Nyirenda (Mr.)
Executive Director

10 COMMENTS

  1. A Nyirenda. This write-up sounds like mere tantrums meant to get cheap attention. The problem is not funding or government. It is us Zambians. We are not up to anything we do. Am sorry Mr. Nyirenda. Don’t expect anything to go write in Zambia. Unless you change the brains of Zambians.

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  2. ECZ bosses are highly paid, monthly salaries plus daily allowance for each meeting they hold. so they don’t feel lack of funds, as this youth Nyerenda is lamenting.

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  3. Don’t be f00lish ecz is well funded. Ecz is independent and so what they do with that money is up to them. If we controlled their funding you will cry ati pf is trying to steal elections. You as a citizen hold them to account not mentioning our VP name. Ukap0n0ka one day

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  4. The single largest donor to ECZ is the European Union. The biggest the problem that we have in Zambia is the mindset. Money isn’t everything. It’s not the first time that Zambia is conducting elections. The 1991 election which UNIP superintended and lost was conducted with mostly local resources and it’s still considered as among the credible. Let’s try to live within our own means. I get surprised why some people would wish to be paid hefty allowances just to move from Long Acres to Kalingalinga to monitor the voter registration process. This is what brings Zambia down. We want to demand accountability from those in higher offices when we ourselves are guilty of the same! As an NGO, please verify facts before you issue any statement

  5. There is no government establishment,state corporation or agency that will outperform itself and become a source of national pride. State outfits are so moribund they urgently need to be run by foreign experts to show some semblance of effective organization. There is appalling incompetence and confusion everywhere you look.

  6. Ba OYV, please check your English. It is “concur” and not “conquer” with the Veep. It is “meagre” not “merger” resources. As for KZ, he is just a brute. OYV, you are the future leaders and your vocabulary should be checked before going to Print. And iwe KZ, tone down your language.

  7. I agree with your observation Jossie Mwala. OYV doesnt pay attention to simple details like checking spellings. This weakness seem to have affected many supposedly youth professional organisations. I have observed that some write ” were” when what they should have written is ” where”. Sometimes, the mistakes are so substantial that one is not able to figure out what the message is !!! Coming to the substance, OYV should not just state on behalf of ECZ that funding is the problem. OYV should analyse why an independent ECZ which should administer free and fair elections is still considered under funded? I am sure both the opposition and ruling party MPs would support a budget request from ECZ. Furthermore, most donors wishing to promote democracy in Zambia would provide both financial…

  8. Furthermore, most donors wishing to promote democracy in Zambia would provide both financial and technical support if required by ECZ with proper justification. So if the ECZ is suffering from inadequate funds, the question is why is ECZ thirst in abundance of water? This is for ECZ to explain!! In abundance of water a fool is thirst as Bob Marley sung!

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