Lusaka ~ Fri, 2 Oct 2020
By ZR Reporter
The Inter-Africa Governance Network (AFRINET) has with dismay noted the protracted mistrust and casting of aspersions on the Electoral Commission of Zambia by some political parties and Civil Society Organizations in the country over its decision to introduce the on-line voter registration and the replacement of the current Voter Register.
AFRINET Executive Director Maurice Malambo says his institution held a meeting with ECZ and finds no reasons to object on-line Voter Registration and the replacement of the current Voter Register with a new one for the 2021 General Election.
“The new Voter Registration exercise intends to enhance biometric security of the Voter Register by generating biometric data from five (5) palm fingers as opposed to the current Voter Register whose biometric data is generated from the hand thumb, as such does not constitute high biometric security,” he said.
He further says that his organization supports the move of replacing of the current Electoral Register.
“The replacement of the country’s Electoral Register is reasonable and lawful because it is conduct in pursuant to provisions under Section 7 of the Electoral Process Act, 2016 number 35, which mandates the Commission to conduct continuous Voter Registration and the validation of the Electoral Register for purpose of a credible election,” Mr Malambo said.
He adds that it is unfortunate that matters of the electoral process are taken to the courts of law, an institution that does not generate consensus on any matter, adding that it is only progressive to build consensus by rational dialogue.
Mr Malambo further explains that AFRINET findings are that best international practices reveal that it is advisable to replace the country’s Electoral Register on average every ten (10) years due to several reasons in which many have been advanced by the electoral body.
The On-line Voter Registration is simply an administrative decision by the Commission to enhance efficiency in the conventional or physical Voter Registration exercise to commence later this month for 30 days.
This will help in cutting down time spent at registration centers on the part of those that will manage to register their details on-line and those that will not manage will still register during the physical registration.