The Electoral Commission of Zambia –ECZ- says it will today announce the timeframe of voter registration as well as give a comprehensive address on the number of eligible voters.
But a consortium of Civil Society Organisations has called on the Commission to extend the voter registration by 3 days.
The ECZ had targeted to register 9 million voters in the voter registration process for the 2021 general elections, but the Zambia Statistics Agency –ZAMSTATS- revealed that the country only has about 8.4 million eligible voters.
And ECZ Acting Public Relations Manager Sylvia Bwalya said all the concerns raised will be addressed at a media briefing expected today when updating the number of registered voters so far and the extension period of the process.
She said the ECZ acknowledges the Zambian Statistics Agency role in providing such data, but could not state whether the Commission will align itself to the latest figure of 8.4 million voters in registering voters, against its original 9 million.
In an interview with Phoenix News, Mr. Kolala has wondered where Zamstats has been all this time to only react two months after the projection was made and the registration process extended.
Meanwhile, a consortium of CSOs led t the Young African Leaders Initiative President Andrew Ntewewe has said it may not be any necessary to extend the voter registration by 14 days extension as earlier requested but proposed of the extension should last for about 3 days only.
Addressing a press briefing yesterday at Mika Lodges, the Consortium Chairperson Andrew Ntewewe said the position is informed by the new data released by the ZAMSTATS and the fact that the Commission has registered 75 percent of eligible voters this far.
“The 2 or 3 days voter registration extension will be enough to reach 85% of the required voters acceptable for a democracy,” said Ntewewe.
The Consortium has also taken a swipe at the Christians Coalition Monitoring Group for what it termed as the unbecoming conduct in which some of its members clergy are taking a biased position in favour of one political party against the other ahead of the 2021 elections.
Mr. Ntewewe said monitoring bodies must be seen to be neutral and impartial as opposed to advancing the interest of one party against the other.
“The CCMG has taken a biased position and is begin to frame political issues which it wants the opposition to use against the currrent administration. This takes away their credibility as a neutral organisation but we are not surprised because CCMG is funded by foriegn political interests whose agenda is to meddle in Zambia’s electoral system,” he said.
Mr. Ntewewe also disclosed the Consortium will make a request to the Commission for it to conduct an independent audit of the register before it could be certified.