Thursday, June 20, 2024

President Hichilema should immediately release the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report-Christian Churches Monitoring Group

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The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) has called on President Hakainde Hichilema to immediately release the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report.

Delimitation is the process of mapping and re-aligning of electoral boundaries, these are
constituencies, wards, polling districts and provinces in order for effective and efficient conduct of
elections.

The delimitation of electoral boundaries is a key electoral process and should be guided by the fundamental principles of impartiality, equality, representativeness, non-discrimination and
transparency.

CCMG Steering Committee Chairperson Bishop Andrew Mwenda has issued a press statement calling on President Hichilema to immediately release the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report.

Bishop Mwenda said CCMG is concerned
with the secrecy surrounding the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report.

The senior clergy said the report is critical to planning for both state and non-state actors and must be in the interest of the President to release such reports to the public for their effective participation.

Bishop Mwenda charged that it is disheartening that huge sums of tax-payers money
were spent on this exercise and four years later the 2019 Boundary Delimitation
Report is still being held by the executive

“Article 229 (2) of the Constitution of Zambia provides for functions and mandate of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, which among other things includes delimiting boundaries for purposes of conducting elections. CCMG is concerned
with the secrecy surrounding the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report which up to now has not been released to the public, despite the ECZ submitting the same to the Executive,” Bishop Mwenda said.

In Zambia, boundary delimitation is a legal provision in Article 229 of the Constitution No. 2 of 2016 as well as the Electoral Process Act No. 53 of 2016.

These pieces of legislation provide the mandate for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to conduct delimitation of constituencies, wards and polling districts.

“We, therefore, call on the President to immediately release the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report, which contains details of number of Polling
Stations, Polling Districts and Wards created prior to the 2021 general elections and the proposed increase to the current number of constituencies.
This report is critical to planning for both state and non-state actors and must be in the interest of the President to release such reports to the public for their effective participation,” he said.

Bishop Mwenda said CCMG believes that government’s continued holding on to the report undermines the principle of transparency on the part of government, which consequently has
a bearing on the independence of the ECZ and its ability to fulfil its mandate without influence from the Executive.

“It is disheartening that huge sums of tax-payers money were spent on this exercise and four years later the 2019 Boundary Delimitation
Report is still being held by the executive. CCMG believes that government’s continued holding on to the report undermines the principle of transparency on the part of government, which consequently has
a bearing on the independence of the ECZ and its ability to fulfil its mandate without influence from the Executive. CCMG reiterates its call for expeditious constitutional and electoral reform to give the Electoral Commission of Zambia
full independence so that it fulfils its mandate independent of any political influence,” Bishop Mwenda said.

The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) is an alliance of four faith-based organisations formed to help promote credible elections.

CCMG’s mission is to strengthen democratic electoral processes and encourage citizen participation in democratic governance in Zambia through civic and voter education, non-partisan election monitoring, research and documentation, electoral reform advocacy and capacity building of civil society organizations in democracy, elections and governance.

CCMG was launched in November
2014 with the goal of monitoring the January 2015 presidential by-elections.

Since then, the network committed itself to monitoring the whole electoral process that lead to the 2016 general elections and is committed to monitoring the electoral process leading to 2021 general elections.

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