PRESS STATEMENT – UPND SA
The Electoral Commission of Zambia must do everything possible to ensure that all eligible voters in the country get their National registration cards as well as their voters cards and are all registered to vote if the upcoming 2021 elections are to pass a minimum basic standard of being credible. It is just one day to go before the official close of the current registration period but endless lines of people wanting to register are still a common scene everywhere in all the provinces in the country. People are still standing up in lines up to 12 hours even today to try and get the voters card. The lines are still endless and very long.
ECZ machines have purportedly been continuously broken down for weeks in most polling districts perceived to be opposition strongholds and citizens for weeks have not been able to get registered thereby denying them their basic right.
Our assessment has revealed that the ECZ staff in most places perceived to be opposition areas like Western province and Mongu in particular were only able to work for a maximum total of 9 days during the whole month long registration period managing to only register a dismal number of people to vote . This is clearly electoral fraud and malpractice already by ECZ and a recipe for anarchy in the country and as such we call on the government and ECZ to extend the period of registration without fail till the current parliament is dissolved. Registration of voters should be a continuous exercise in a civilised society that cherishes democracy.
The right to vote is a human rights issue and ECZ can not be seen to be in the forefront to disfranchise citizens of their enshrined constitutional right to vote.
We want to retaliate that the ECZ must comply with the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and it’s Principles governing elections both of which place emphasis on the credibility of electoral infrastructure, including voters rolls.
ECZ must also abide by the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , which guarantees the right to vote for all qualifying citizens, among other international instruments.
Therefore, ECZ has no choice but to extend the current registration period till parliament is dissolved in order to ensure all citizens exercise their democratic right to participate in these elections.
ECZ should not disfranchise the citizens of Zambia but instead uphold the rights of citizens.
UPND SA Chapter Chairman
UPND SA Press Office.