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.