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Low turnout in the ongoing continuous registration of voters raises concern

The opposition Leadership Movement has lamented the low turnout in the ongoing continuous registration of voters being conducted by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

ECZ this week revealed that only 2,810 new voters have been registered since the exercise commenced on June 1st 2022.

Giving an update on the continuous voter registration at a media briefing in Lusaka, ECZ outgoing Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano had indicated that the provisional statistics covering a period June and July 31st, 2022 from all the 10 districts, indicate that 1,898 of those captured are males while and 912 are females.

Mr. Nshindano said ECZ has managed to update voter records from 1,537 people within the same period.

Commenting on the low turnout, Leadership Movement Media Director Tatila Tatila said the statistics were not inspiring stakeholders in the electoral process such as political parties.

Mr. Tatila alleged that the low turnout in the ongoing continuous registration of voters shows that people have no confidence in the process.

He challenged ECZ to ensure that statistics in the continuous registration of voters are improved.

“Continuous Voter Registration statistics for July that stands at 2,810 is an Embarrassment and at the sometime a confirmation that stakeholders have no confidence in the current leadership at the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).Low turnout in the continuous voter registration keeps on exposing ECZ those stakeholders has no confidence in them and its programmes. Leadership Movement-LM has noted that Political Parties and the general public have expressed concerns regarding unprofessional conduct by ECZ staffs and its seniors in the past elections,” Mr. Tatila said.

He proposed that ECZ open more registration centers.

The four-month continuous registration of voter exercise ECZ launched on 1st June, 2022 is only being done in ten provincial centers of the country.

“As a party, we demand for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) which is transparent as it is the high time that Zambia should have an Independent Electoral Commission that will bring about professionalism at the Elections House in Zambia. Just last week, The ECZ had closed the Lusaka Voter Registration station due to the just ended Showgrounds. Both CVR Lusaka city library, ECZ headquarters and ECZ resource Centre are supposed to be Operational and provide CVR service 24/7 to the potential voters throughout. In the case of Choma, The ECZ team lacks coordination with NGO’s the church and Media in order for them to win numbers in the CVR.As a party, we have also advised the Electoral Commission of Zambia to re – introduce the online Registration process but we seem not to get answers as ECZ staffs have its own direction,” Mr. Tatila added.