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Monday, April 12, 2021

Zambia’s new voter register is a scam, HH writes in Foreign Media

Columns Zambia’s new voter register is a scam, HH writes in Foreign Media

By Hakainde Hichilema

On 12 August 2021 Zambians will head to the polls to vote in general elections held once every five years

However, not everyone who is eligible to vote will be able to do so. Instead, thousands of Zambians, mostly hailing from provinces that voted for the opposition in the 2016 elections, will be denied that right unless urgent action is taken.

The new voters’ register

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has recently published a brand new provisional voters’ register which will replace, rather than update, the pre-existing register. Its contents appear to validate many of the concerns that have been raised by both opposition and civil society actors in recent months.

Yet the ECZ says it does not intend to subject the new register to an independent audit, despite this being essential for establishing its integrity and ensuring credibility.

Having had five years between the 2016 and 2021 elections in which to establish a credible voters’ register, it is outrageous that just 37 days were allocated to the process at a difficult time of year when the rainy season was upon us and farmers were busy preparing their fields.

By way of comparison, the voter registration exercise conducted between the 2015 and 2016 elections lasted for six months and captured over one million voters during that time.

Despite the ECZ having had four years to prepare for this short registration period, it was plagued with numerous teething problems that resulted in lengthy queues and some people even being turned away and told to come back the next day. Given the economic turmoil facing the country and the rising cost of living, many of our citizens do not have such time to spare.

Concerns over the short registration period and the risk of disenfranchisement were raised by both opposition and civil society groups ahead of the process but were dismissed with promises that the ECZ was targeting nine million voters, a significant increase on the pre-existing register of 6.7m. In the end, they reached just over seven million, despite the fact that almost two million Zambians have turned 18 since the 2016 polls.

Skewed in favour of the incumbent

Concerns were also raised during the process over reports that the exercise was skewed towards registering a higher number of voters in provinces that voted in favour of the incumbent Patriotic Front (PF) in the 2016 elections, as well as allegations that in these regions people were being bussed in to register at all hours.

These were readily dismissed as politicking. Yet now we have seen the resulting provisional register, our concerns and worst fears have been validated.

In ‘perceived PF strongholds’ that voted for President Edgar Lungu during the 2016 elections thousands of new voters have been registered.

Eastern Province, where the President hails from, now has an additional 120,324 voters; Muchinga an extra 52,311; Luapula 51,763 and Northern 43,634. Meanwhile, in areas that voted for the opposition, we have seen significant decreases despite continued population growth.

My home of Southern Province now has 31,978 fewer voters, Western Province has 51,772 fewer voters and North-Western has 16,123 fewer voters. It is hard to look at these figures and conclude that the registration exercise was balanced and impartial.

Leading election analysts are equally concerned, both at home and internationally. Comparing the 2016 and 2021 voters’ registers, Sishuwa Sishuwa of the University of Zambia described the elections as “a scam” having previously warned that the creation of a new voters’ roll was part of a deliberate strategy by President Lungu to stay in power.

The need for credible elections

Nicole Beardsworth of the University of Warwick has warned that the situation could undermine the election’s credibility. Commenting on the new roll via Twitter she has stated: “There are concerns that the ruling party might want to selectively disenfranchise citizens in parts of the country that historically vote for the opposition. The only way that the electoral commission can allay these fears is through an independent audit.”

Following their publication, we are calling for redress. To allay these concerns and save the credibility of Zambia’s 2021 election there must be an independent audit of the new register, as well as an urgent extension to the registration exercise, particularly in areas that now have thousands of fewer voters than in 2016 with no clear explanation as to why.

This is not simply a matter of self-interest. If these elections are going to have credibility, if people are going to trust in the process and have confidence in the outcome, then we cannot enter them on such an uneven footing. This is something that is important for all Zambians and our standing as a democratic and peace-loving nation, as had been recognised by the various civil society groups speaking out on the matter including the Church.

This is not just about an electoral battle between government and opposition, or a question of one ideology versus another. This is about standing up for the fundamental democratic rights and freedoms of Zambians not just on 12 August, but for years to come.

Bottom line

We need a free and fair vote for Zambia in 2021 more than ever.

It is the only way to repeal recent anti-democratic legislation such as the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill; put an end to the continued abuse of the colonial-era Public Order Act; and prevent the return to arbitrary arrests, media clampdowns and human rights violations. It is the path to repairing our economy after a decade of mismanagement.

That is why we are calling on Zambia’s friends in the region and beyond to add their voices to those pushing for remedial action and an independent audit before it is too late.

Source: The AfricaReport

56 COMMENTS

  1. Bamudala pamenepa myamba ukulila? You would even involved we the Zambians to help you but your problem is always running to the foreign third parties! This the more reason I doubt that you can defend the poor Zambians, you have so much trust in what the colonial minds tells than forming an alliance with Zambian people, by now you would have learned from SATA in 2011. You are a waste who doesn’t deserve our attention as a country, I think it’s better to continue with the pf, am sure lungu can listen than you! You MPs were camped at house dancing to the fall of bill 10 while your friends were busy registering the voters but now you blame the system and actually blaming Zambian people that you must govern, be serious HH. We all agreed that we needed new voters register but you can change…

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  2. This is what educated and civilized societies do. There’s no country that change voters’ register. They add to it not asking everyone to go and reregister. Where on earth apart from Uganda and Zambia? That register is totally a sham and scam. Zambians must rise and say no. It is time to stand up to dictatorship. You should also let the Con Court know that they are not the Zambia.

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  3. According to Under5 this election will be free and fair if he’s the winner so that he can repeal Cyber security act, public order act n fix the economy

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  4. The new voters register, despite a million or so more than the previous, is not very different in terms of distribution across provinces. For instance, figures are very similar in Lusaka, Copperbelt, Eatern, Northern and Southern with those of 2015 and 2916. We are yet to see is pattern in voter turnout percentages which have been very good in Southern Province in particular.

    Under 5 should take time to study this before ranting.

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  5. we have started already cry before the results ,Thats our problem we have , busy going to the media and cry ,while our friends are regrouping and making plans .wake up man otherwise the pain will be more after election compare to the pain we went through in 2016 loss,That time we had GBM who is strong .not with banalumango ngatwalusa ,tabakosa .fililofye fyefyekafye

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  6. Pathetic, really pathetic!! After wasting 5 years on “Armageddon”, he now realises he’s going nowhere. Even his long time members are abandoning him. Chimbwi no plan. Hazalila Howeee!!!

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  7. THE WORLD KNOWS THIS IS A CORRUPT AND MANIPULATIVE GOVERNMENT DRAGGING THE COUNTRY DOWN TO JUNK ++ STATUS
    BUT IT IS A SOVEREIGN STATE AND OUTSIDE INTERVETION WILL NEVER INTERFERE
    ITS US THE PEOPLE WHO MUST DECIDE ONE WAY OR ANOTHER THAT TIME IS UP

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  8. One Summy Chintombwa neglects to mention who asked for new Voters register in the first place. So the whole Country should go on a stand still because there are few Tongas on the register. As usual playing cry baby until he loses while is friends are on the ground campaigning and explaining what they have done so far.

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  9. The fact is u can’t have a free and fair Vote without a Credible Voters Roll. Clearly the New Voters Roll is compromised and has disenfranchised many People. ECL has promised Election Observers a Transparent, Free, Fair and Credible 2021 Elections. If ECL is serious about having a free Vote in terms of the Republican Constitution then ECZ has to clean up the Voters Roll to be used in the 2021 Elections. Additionally ECL ‘s Eligibility is a Constitutional issue which needs to be resolved by Concourt. If these two issues are not satisfactorily resolved the outcome of the August 12 Election will be disputed and declared illegitimate. Illegitimacy will have serious consequences on Zambia. The writing is on the wall.

  10. Ofcourse lungu can never win any free and fair election , never…….

    If him , lungu and his rats are so confident, why don’t they allow an independent audit of that scam election register ????

    They can’t allow an audit as that will expose them…….

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  11. An independent audit , comparing the register of births with that scam election register would be not too hard to verify and unite the country…….

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  12. HH wrote a letter to the Chairmen of SADC and AU bringing this to their attention. There is nothing wrong with this. After all ECL has promised Election Observers a Transparent, free,fair and credible Election in Zambia in 2021. ECL should fulfill his Promises to Election Observers who include AU,SADC, UN,EU and individual Govt’s. Yes we want a smooth and peaceful transfer of Power in Zambia in 2021 as outlined in our Constitution. Tanzania recently respected,obeyed and enforced its Constitution. Zambia should emulate Tanzania in this regard.

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  13. The guy that knows Trump is at it again. Azamuziba Biden. What HH does not know the International Community stopped paying attention to him a long time. We are still waiting for ICC. He is like the boy that cried Lion. The votes are in Shiwangandu, Namwala, Matero, Sinda and that is were your friends are right now. By the time you realize you will be the six time losing candidate.

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  14. When other parties were urging their members to go and register as voters, HH was busy peddling negativity about the process. He did the same about the Bill of Rights the last election. This time around he was busy shooting down Bill 10 when the PF were busy mobilizing. It only downed on the big guy in the last minutes that he should have been telling his members to register in large numbers starting from the onset. People don’t go to plot 1 through crying or begging for pity from the international community. Those guys don’t vote here in Zambia. Zambians do. The things that you write about the government telling the international community don’t get down to the people that can help you get to plot 1. Shouldn’t you be talking to them? The majority of voters who send people to state…

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  15. The f00l who has no agenda or manifesto and has lost as many elections as the number of times he has orgasimed, is already crying about an election which hasn’t even happened yet. When they ask him to provide evidence of his outlandish claims the f00l goes quiet. Hh is the most f00lish man of the 21st century. When a good friend of his told me that hh suffered from daddy issues as he grew up without one, I thought he was joking. I can now see what he meant.

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  16. Objectively, the numbers seem very suspicious. Efforts of voter suppression seem to have been applied. But even with this, the will of the people cannot be underestimated. People will vote, then an outcome will reflect the will of those people.

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  17. The seeds of sedition have been sown , a divided polarised country is looming post August , if lungu has nothing to hide and has confidence in his popularity, he should actually order an audit………

    But the fraud convict that he is knows he will be exposed……..

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  18. Kikiki this man believes in tribalism .We knew that new register was a solution. Southern province had fake voters. ECZ did well do have a new register. HH is just looking at his strongholds. Why can he also think that maybe people southern due to poor rainfall for the past 3 years some people have migrated to other areas like central province. This party can destroy the country it’s leader is too tribal for nothing .Why crying before even people vote?.PF is mismanaged the country but HH is wrong chap to lead us. OOPs he can bring this country into chaos no wonder big fish is leaving.

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  19. Kikiki this man believes in triiibaliiiiiiiiism .We knew that new register was a solution. Southern province had fake voters. ECZ did well do have a new register. Hakainde is just looking at his strongholds. Why can he also think that maybe people southern due to poor rainfall for the past 3 years some people have migrated to other areas like central province. This party can destroy the country it’s leader is too tribal for nothing .Why crying before even people vote?.PF is mismanaged the country but HHakainde is wrong chap to lead us. OOPs he can bring this country into chaos no wonder big fish is leaving

  20. That’s how your friend Trump incited insurrection at Capitol Hill. Since you can’t be impeached we will send you to Mukobeko for permanent sanctuary.

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  21. It has taken some time for HH to see. He is always very slow in thinking. He must ask himself why talk about voters registration now? Check yourself boss

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  22. ITS WONDERFUL NEWS THAT THE WORLD KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING ON HERE IN ZAMBIA AND MOST OF AFRICA
    WE NEED YOUNG ENERGETIC AND EDUCATED PROGRESSIVE LEADERS NOT THIS BUNCH OF G00NS IN PF WHO WONT TAKE OFF THEIR BLINKERS !!!

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  23. No way out Mr HH you can’t continue crying in all elections .
    Yes I agree there could be some
    Puzzle in there but you have to be
    Strong .Give this a last try if u fail
    It’s time to give chance to next.
    Zambians are not all with you as
    There is no total wind of change.

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  24. #19  Dabenji
     March 31, 2021 At 9:27 am

    “It has taken some time for HH to see. He is always very slow in thinking. He must ask himself why talk about voters registration now? Check yourself boss”

     The results of the voters registration have only recently been published , how can he make claims with out seeing the new register ?????

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  25. #18  Kawasaki 
    March 31, 2021 At 9:26 am

    “That’s how your friend Trump incited insurrection at Capitol Hill. Since you can’t be impeached we will send you to Mukobeko for permanent sanctuary.”

     Trump had no proof the US election was a fraud , HH is saying the new voters register does not add up……..?

    It would be interesting to have the audit forced by a court, no ????

     

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  26. Zambians are more important than any one politician. Going by what we have seen in Zambian politics, Hakainde has no real heart for Zambia. He would rather Zambia gets destroyed if he does not get to state house. The cry baby will always be a cry baby. HH has many places to run too such as South Africa. The majority of Zambians have only Zambia. This political fight must have boundaries we should never descend into what has characterised USA in the recent past just before Trump left power. In that respect Zambia is far superior and we should never allow those selfish souls to ruin this hard-earned peace. The Majority of the electorate in Zambia have realised this and have seen through the politicians who are in politics purely for their own pockets. The decision of the Zambians will be…

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  27. Pwahahahahahahahahahahaha kikikikikikijukija!

    There you have it. It’s game over even before it starts. Thanks!
    This guy has the most excruciating inferior complex esteem.
    He usually gets defeated before the event.

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  28. And this is how he has lost for the 8th time…and probably the end of his Political career…am not PF….but HH is definitely not the option for Zambia

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  29. ECL recently hoodwinked Election Observers by promising free and fair and are Constitutional 2021 Elections. We warned these Election Observers that they are dealing with a hypocrite and now we have been vindicated. The New Voters Roll is compromised and has disenfranchised many People especially in Opposition Strongholds. With a compromised Voters Roll there cannot be a Credible Elections in 2021. Failure by Concourt to interpret, protect and enforce the Republican Constitution will lead to a flawed Election. ECL is not legible for the 2021 Elections becoz he has held Office, been elected and sworn in twice and therefore doesn’t qualify for a Third Term (Article 106 (3)). Concourt must resolve this matter in an Objective and Professionally manner otherwise Zambia will descend into…

  30. As usual under 5 (soon to be under 6) has already started his usual song, “i will only lose because the elections will be rigged”. While PF was busy on the ground mobilizing people in their perceived strong holds to go and register as voters, UPND leadership was busy on face book opposing what ever the government was doing. HH should just accept that he is neither a politician or strategist.

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  31. If I am ask has there ever been an audit of voter registration in Zambia before? Who is supposed to conduct the so called” independent” audit? Anglo America ?

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  32. Hakainde Hichilema does no act on matters instantly.
    The issue of assumed anomalies on the voters’ register were first captured by Dr Sishuwa wa Sishuwa the moment the document went public (27/2/2021).
    The voters’ register was released first week February.
    Why must it take HH a month to issue a protest? And he does it in a wishful way.

  33. @akapS, you say,

    “Trump had no proof the US election was a fraud , HH is saying the new voters register does not add up……..?

    “It would be interesting to have the audit forced by a court, no ????”

    Trump cried electoral frauds even before a single ballot was cast, same way Under 5 had has always gone and is doing now. Trump made all kinds of threats together with his minions, same way Under 5 and the likes of Shushuwa are doing. I can assure you that audit can be done and still Under 5 will do everything to discredit the outcome of the findings.

    Your man is a time waster, the number of top people that have ditched him tells it all.

    Just concede that Under 5 Kalusa is out of depth. Ukalwalapo fye BP.

  34. THERE WILL BE NO AUDIT !!
    THERE WILL BE NO NATIONAL DEBATE
    THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE IN PF SHOCKING INEFFICIENCIES
    THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE IN CORRUPTION
    BUT THERE WILL BE HOPE FOR THE NEW GOVERNMENT

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  35. Awee, No scam naimwee. You were busy celebrating Bill 10 with your MPs when your Freind were busy ferrying would voters to register in their stronghold now you cry. It’s important to accept when you miscalculate. That’s leadership

  36. KZ your Boss has promised Election Observers a Transparent a free,fair,transparent and credible Elections in August 2021 conducted as provided for under the Republican Constitution. Election Observers know that no Country can have Credible Election without a Credible Voters Roll. ECZ has to make the New Voters Roll Credible if they want recognition from the Election Observers. ECL’s Eligibility is a Constitutional matter which Concourt should resolve. The Republican Constitution prohibits a Third Term so Concourt would have to figure out the basis for granting ECL an Eligibility Certificate. Recently Tanzanian smoothly and peacefully managed to transfer Power from the late John Magufuli to President Samia Siluhu Hassan in terms the Tanzanian Constitution. Zambia Concourt must…

  37. Who is going to vote for a party whose leader is doing a fantastic job of looking like he’s running scared? You can nearly smell the fear from HH. He is a cheapskate, he is no leader and he can not lead. HH is desperate man and will stoop to desperate things.

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  38. IT’S NOT SURPRISING THAT HH HAS ALREADY STARTED ACCEPTING DEFEAT. YOU GUYS STRONGLY REQUESTED FOR A NEW VOTERS REGISTER AND YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A NEW VOTERS REGISTER. WHY HAVE YOU STARTED CRYING WOLF AFTER YOUR PEOPLE HAVE STARTED DEFECTING TO PF. AND THIS IS NOT JUST MERE UPND MEMBERS BUT THOSE PROMINENT ONES WHO HAVE SAID THAT HH IS A TRIBALIST AND DICTATOR. HH AND UPND RELY AND TRUST TOO MUCH ON ANGLO-AMERICA CORPORATION. PRIMARILY, ANGLO-AMERICAN CORPORATION WAS FORMED UP BY BRITAIN AND USA TO CARRY OUT THEIR POLICIES OF KEEPING AFRICA UNDER DEVELOPED AND THAT IS WHAT YOUR HH HAS ENDORSED WITH THE CORPORATION BY PROMISING THEIR COMEBACK.

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  39. HH and UPND can commission an audit without the approval of GRZ or even breaking the law and without enlisting his favored international community. UPND needed to go to their perceived strongholds to verify with their supporters who re-registered but cannot not be captured on the new register. Then they will have a case to present to any court of law.
    He cites having 31978 fewer voters in southern province than the last time around. Little does he know that the international community will find him petty when they note that the difference (out of a total of 810077) is only about 4% which is well within the permissible margin of error!
    Yes there have been increases in numbers for Eastern, Muchinga, Luapula and copperbelt. That is because the entire PF hierarchy got working province to…

  40. Continued from 35
    Yes there have been increases in the numbers for Eastern, Muchiga, Luapula and the Copperbelt provinces. That is because the entire PF hierarchy got working to mobilize voters to obtain NRCs and register as voters. What is more they even enlisted the chiefs to drive the exercise in their respective chiefdoms (Mpezeni or Mwine lubemba).
    With time Zambians are awakening to the fact that this HH is not after all a smart politician. His strategies are at most woeful and almost always miscalculated. But having said that we need to be steadfast in our prayers to God to give us an honest leadership that respects the rule of law and above board compared to the riff raff cadres walking the corridors of power and enterprise!

  41. HH has already defeated himself. He’s seeing the ghost he always
    sees whenever it’s election time… rigging. How can you have others cheating you all the time and you learn nothing about how not to be cheated next time? You’re supposed to be the brightest businessman big guy… but definitely not the brightest politician

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  42. But boss, we are very sure that we are winning with this same voter register. UPND is not afraid of a new register, we know we shall win. If WE win, will the elections be free and fair or you are still going to dispute the results? Boss, stop mourning and let us start campigning.

  43. HH, it is insulting for you to think that the registered voters will not vote for you. If you have nothing to offer then people wont vote for you. Are you concluding that you are only popular in selected areas? Stop crying and campaign so that you convince 51 plus 1 voters to vote for you and stop crying before the vote is cast.

  44. Seeing things with a tribal lenses. The registered people can surely vote for HH if he sells himself. This idea of strong holds does not work when people want change.

  45. you told your supporters that you would not accept the new voters registration exercise. so they did not register. now again you complain.

  46. I call all UPND supporters to boycott these elections.. If you are UPND and love the party and the president, don’t go to vote… Let’s protest

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