ELECTORAL Commission of Zambia chief elections officer Patrick Nshindano says the Commission targets to get above 80 per cent in terms of voter turnout in next year’s general elections.

He hopes that Zambians will massively register to vote once the “aggressive” process starts in October this year.

Nshindano was speaking during a media briefing at the ECZ offices in Lusaka on Friday.

He said from now on, the ECZ would try to make updates more frequent because the period that “we have is very short.”

Nshindano indicated that the Commission wanted to ensure stakeholders were brought on board.

“The voter registration will be an aggressive process for a month. Democracy is about numbers and we hope that the citizens will take up this opportunity and be able to register so that we can have a high turnout when it comes to 2021, but also get the representation that is required for us to be able to declare a [presidential] candidate a winner,” he said. “As a Commission, we do not take pride in seeing low numbers of voters. When you look at the current turnout, in terms of the voter apathy…Our target is to get above 80 per cent in terms of voter turnout.”

He explained that some of the processes ECZ had put in place were aimed at doing “just that, especially around the voter registration – which will involve the clean-up but also the capture of those that have fallen into the voting bracket”.

“We do hope and pray that there will be collaboration on the part of the different stakeholders and indeed you, media colleagues,” he said.

On today’s political party liaison committee meeting, comprising of political party secretary generals and chairperson of election committees, Nshindano said “eminent persons” would be in attendance in that meeting and they would be introduced to the political parties.

The ECZ has set up an eight observatory and advisory body of ‘eminent’ Zambians, who are believed/expected to be politically impartial.

Those in the observatory and advisory committee are General Benjamin Mibenge (retired), Professor Enala Tembo-Mwase from the University of Zambia (UNZA), Professor Owen Sichone from the Copperbelt University (CBU), Professor Edwin Zulu from Justo Mwale University and Reverend Emmanuel K Mwale from the United Church of Zambia (UCZ).

Others are Mirriam Munyinda, Hellen Samatebele from the civil society and Willie Sweta.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. To be disgraced is a very bad thing. You can talk some good but everyone will take it with a pinch of salt. I am sure some people live borrowed lives where by there must be a gunman protecting them wherever they are or else they wouldn’t see their next day. Which category are you Shindano?

  2. Before talking about a target of above 80% in terms of voter turnout, the ECZ should first support genuine efforts aimed at increasing the number of registered voters. The recent announcement that ECZ will reduce the voter registration period to 30 days is against increasing the number of registered voters. Why is the ECZ denying the people in the diaspora the right to vote? This ECZ decision is also against increasing the number of free Zambians who can vote during the 2021 elections.
    One would have expected the Chief Electoral Officer of the ECZ to be in the forefront advocating for support to increase the period for voter registration and to ensure that as many eligible Zambian voters as possible will register to vote. Who is pushing the ECZ to reduce the period of voter registration and to deny Zambians living in the diaspora their voting rights? Who is pushing the ECZ to compel prisoners to vote during the 2021 elections?
    The decisions and actions taken by the ECZ so far will not lead to increasing the number of registered voters. So if the ECZ genuinely want to increase the number of registered voters, the period for voter registration should be increased. The ECZ should be in the forefront advocating for more people to obtain NRC in efficient and transparent manner in all parts of the country. Voter registration should be a continuous process and not a crush programme.

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