United Party for National Development-UPND- leader Hakainde Hichilema has demanded that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should conduct a continuous voter registration exercise so that it doesn’t leave out any eligible Zambian voter.
And Mr Hichilema observed that the framers of the Republican Constitution, in a quest to end reckless spending towards endless by-elections and reduce panic ahead of general elections, opted to add suitable provisions in the Constitution that would ensure the sitting Government did not deplete the treasury through the creation of endless by-elections.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday morning, Mr Hichilema accused the ECZ of abrogation of the laws of the land by failing to conduct the continuous voter registration exercise.
“Electoral Commission of Zambia, register all the eligible Zambians. Did you saw the queues? You created that mess. The Electoral Processes Act of 2016 allows for a continuous voter registration exercise; that’s why the designers of the law put such measures so that there is no rush, there is no stampede which you’re creating now,” charged Mr Hichilema.
Mr Hichilema, questioned the criteria used to arrive at both the 30 days registration period for the exercise which came to an end last Saturday as well as the 4 days extension.
Mr Hichilema said that it was public knowledge that ECZ Chief Electoral Officer, Patrick Nshindano was “confused” by the endless instructions from the ruling elite to ensure that the voter registration exercise was conducted in a manner that favoured the PF and increased their chances of clinging onto public office beyond 2021.
“The ECZ has been abrogating the law because they should have been doing voter registration since 2016 because that’s what the law states. But, now they create these illegal provisions of 30 days…7 days per polling station and now the 4 days extension which is illegal. Now, if those in the ECZ and Government are ignoring the rule of law, how is this country to be governed legally?,” he wondered.
The ECZ made an announcement that it had extended the voter registration exercise from the initial 30 days which ended on Saturday with an extra 4 days ending on Sunday, 20 December, 2020