Wednesday, June 19, 2024

ECZ to progressively extend the continuous registration of voter exercise to all districts

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The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) Vice Chairperson Emily Sikazwe has said, resources allowing, the commission will progressively extend the continuous registration of voter exercise to all districts.

The first phase of the four-month continuous registration of voter exercise which ECZ is launching on 1st June, 2022 will only be done in ten provincial centers of the country.

During a stakeholders meeting organised by ECZ in Ndola on Tuesday, Dr. Sikazwe said the commencement of continuous registration of voters is long overdue and it is backed by law.

She said ECZ has responded to people’s cries by implementing the continuous registration of voters.

Dr. Sikazwe urged stakeholders that included political parties, media and the civil society to raise awareness on continuous registration of voters.

She said stakeholder participation in sensitizing citizens on the continuous registration of voters was vital to its success.

“You will recall that various stakeholders have been crying for continuous voter registration. We are here today to discuss the launch which is taking place tomorrow (1st June, 2022) and what your role will be in the exercise. You will note that we have a number of stakeholders here who play a very critical role in the electoral process. The commission has a constitutional mandate to undertake electoral activities and ensure that as stakeholders we all play our respective roles especially today in the continuous registration of voters. The commission will tomorrow 1st June, 2022 commence 1st June, 2022 continuous registration of voters,” Dr. Sikazwe said.

“This is a call to implement what has constantly been an appeal from most of the stakeholders that the commission does this over the years. The Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act number two of 2016 provides for all eligible citizens to register as voters. Further, the Electoral Process Act Number 35 of 2016 Part 2 provides for the registration of voters in section seven of the Electoral Process Act provides for the continuous registration of voters. These legal provisions are important for us to take note that the commission is compelled to do what the constitutions demands should be done,” Dr. Sikazwe said.

“The commission will implement the continuous registration of voter exercises in the ten provinces. In each of the ten provinces we will take the provincial centers for the time being and progressively to the districts resources allowing. The districts are Chinsali, Chipata, Choma, Kabwe, Kasama, Lusaka, Mansa, Mongu, Ndola and Solwezi,” she said.

Dr. Sikazwe, however, clarified that for Mongu, the exercise will start on July 1, 2022 saying this has been necessitated by the upcoming by-election which is set for June 30, 2022.

Section 12 of the Electoral Process Act, 35 of 2016 says “The Commission will suspend the Registration of Voters whenever an election is due for the purposes of the conduct of the elections”.

Stakeholders meeting participants in Ndola District supported the commencement of the continuous registration of voter exercise by ECZ.

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Copperbelt Coordinator Andrew Chimfwembe said he expects more people to register as voters during this exercise.

“The importance of this continuous registration of voter exercise is that democracy and governance depends on people’s participation in elections mostly. So in the past 50 years also people who participate in elections are less than 50 percent of the population. So is that democracy? So when there is continuous registration of voter exercise we expect a lot of people to get involved in participating in choosing their own leaders. That is the essence. Let’s hope this continuous registration of voter exercise will be implemented well so that the majority of people get registered. My fear at the moment is that if it is done centrally like Ndola civic centre what about people that are coming from outside. Maybe people coming from outside will be discouraged. Publicity will be very important in this continuous registration of voter exercise,” Mr. Chimfwembe said.

1 COMMENT

  1. Don’t be cheated they are given more time and resources in southern and western province for obvious reasons. Tribal business

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