By Kombe Mataka
OUR target is to make sure that every eligible Zambian is captured in the continuous voter registration exercise, says ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano.
In an interview, Nshindano said the Commission wants to mop up all eligible voters in the exercise.
“The exercise is not just a one off. This is a continuous exercise right up to 2026. So, we know it might impact when it comes to seasons. For instance, during farming seasons, we will be able to expect that registration numbers might go down,” he explained ahead of the launching the continuous voter registration exercise on June 1. “During rainy season, again you will see numbers going down but what we intend to do is also accompany this registration exercise with a robust voter education plan and sensitisation so that there is that continuous registration throughout the exercise. When we are looking at the number this time around, we basically want to mop up everybody. That is something me and my team are talking about. The target is to make sure that every eligible Zambian is captured, that is actually running on print, TV, radio, social platforms and so on.”
Nshindano said the Commission was very happy with where it stood so far.
“As a Commission we are happy with where we are sitting. When we look at the statistics to the time we were registering, we basically registered 722,000 which is about 85 per cent of eligible voters. And I think from that perspective this is one of the highest rated globally when you look at registration in terms of numbers,” said Nshindano. “But beyond that, we felt they are falling out of that category in terms of the young people including those that didn’t register during the previous registration exercise. And we need to make sure that we are including them, but also of the critical issues we hope to address has to do with the challenge of having a register that has a lot of issues in it. I mean for instance, the deceased persons and the ability to renew the register in terms of being able to remove and add on a regular basis. And that is one of our key targets that we are aiming for in the coming registration so that we don’t want to have a situation like we had during the 2020 registration exercise where we had 1.4 million deceased sitting on the register. So, with this regular registration we hope that citizens will come up and be able to announce and present their certificates for their loved ones from the register, but also working with our colleagues from the civil register system we will be able to clean up and also be able to capture more.”
Credit: The Mast