By Brightwell Chabusha
Vice-President Inonge Wina has disclosed that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has registered approximately 1.1 million people in the first phase of the voter registration exercise which commenced over a week ago.
Mrs Wina further disclosed that the ECZ has recruited an additional 832 assistant registration officers and field workers to help speed up the process.
The ECZ is targeting to register over 9 million voters in 30 days.
The Vice President said in Parliament when she rendered a ministerial statement that not all centres have recorded a high number of persons intending to register, adding that extra kits will be deployed to only those that have a huge turnout.
This was in response to a point of order raised by Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu on concerns relating to the slow pace of the exercise by the Commission.
“The Commission has therefore started deploying additional staff and registration kits to the registration centres which have recorded high numbers of people so that the voter registration exercise can be efficiently and expeditiously done. It must be noted that not all centres have recorded a high number of persons intending to register and it is for this reason that extra kits will be deployed to only those that have a huge turnout,” Mrs Wina said.
She further disclosed an additional 400 uniformed police officers will be deployed.
Mrs Wina, however, acknowledged that challenges were faced in the first phase and the first week of the voter registration process but the situation has improved and continued to improve.
“Those centres that are open 24 hours, additional officers will be sent there and staff shifts to high traffic centres across will have additional officers. Additional kits will be sent to the other populated centres. And 400 uniformed police officers have been engaged to participate in the process. So Mr Speaker, Voter registration is different from NRC issuance. Of course, there was mobile issuance of NRCs but the issuance goes on throughout the year and the people can go to district offices and access the NRCs,” Mrs Wina said.