A consortium of civil society organisations and students have detailed the number of registration kits distributed by the Electoral Commission of Zambia personnel responsible for elections in a scheme described as a manipulation of the electoral process to register more voters in UPND strongholds.
Speaking on behalf of CSOs during a media briefing this morning, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) President Andrew Ntewewe outlined how 308 registration kits have been distributed in Southern Province with Monze District ranking highest on the list.
“These kits are distributed as follows in Southern Province: Monze (41), Choma (36), Mazabuka (31), Katombola (30), Livingstone (24), Namwala (23), Sinazongwe (19), Chikankata (18), Pemba (16), Kalomo Central (15), Gwembe (15), Mapatizya (15), Siavonga (15), Dundumwezi (10),” said Ntewewe.
He contrasted the 308 voter registration kits allocated to Southern Province with the 202 kits allocated to Lusaka, which accounts for half of the kits needed in Lusaka province. He said Copperbelt has also been allocated 327 kits when it needs about 380 to 450 kits.
The CSOs said challenges voters in Lusaka, Copperbelt and Eastern are facing with registration is because of this unfair distribution of kits and that no one must complain of slowness in registration if they are ready to defend the distribution of kits by ECZ.
The CSOs have also brushed aside the defence of autonomy by the Commission as a way to avoid scrutiny. They said the enjoyment of autonomy does not immunise ECZ from scrutiny and criticism.
“It is not the first time nor will it be the last when stakeholders will bring ECZ and its staff under scrutiny. The very members of political parties such as UPND and CSOs who falsely champion the autonomy of ECZ have been the worst culprits when it comes to criticising ECZ,” said Ntewewe.