Lusaka ~ Sat, 26 Sept 2020
By ZR Reporter
The Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue is deeply concerned about the inadequate awareness on the Online Pre-Voter Registration process, which was recently launched at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre by the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Centre Executive Director, Doreen Njovu, in a statement, stated that it is unfortunate that the Commission decided to move on while leaving behind the citizenry with little or no information on how to participate in the vital exercise.
“Concerns by the general public should have been addressed had the Commission preceded the exercise with voter education. On another note, the commission has placed too much emphasis on the Online Voter Pre-registration without effectively balancing and informing the people on the physical voter registration process which shall be taking place in various registration centres across the country, once the mobile voter registration period commences on 28th October, 2020,” Ms Njovu said.
She adds that many electorates and stakeholders are lacking this information and more especially those in the rural areas where they have no access to the internet.
“The lack of sensitization has brought a lot speculation and suspicion among stakeholders and the citizenry and, if not properly managed, could be a source of conflict to destabilize the 2021 elections. As a Centre for interparty dialogue, we are also deeply concerned at the lack of consensus building on key electoral issues such as prisoners’ right to vote and the 2021 nomination fees,” Ms Njobvu stated.
She notes that the Electoral body seems to be bulldozing its way through everything without adequate consensus building which may lead to serious consequences in the nation.
“There is need to get everyone’s buy-in through consultation with key stakeholders in an already negatively charged environment. We strongly restate our position on the need to reduce nomination fees as submitted by all the political parties and stakeholders. The nomination fees are too high for ordinary Zambians to participate in the 2021 general elections. The ZCID board furthers calls on all the political parties and stakeholders to deepen the culture of dialogue as we head towards the 2021 General Elections in order to promote peace and unity in our nation,” Ms Njobvu stated.