By OLIVER SAMBOKO
NINE million voters have been targeted for registration countrywide in readiness for next year’s general election, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has announced.
Addressing the media in Lusaka yesterday, ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano also announced that the voter registration which was planned to be undertaken in May for 60 days has now been rescheduled to October 2020 for 30 days.
He said ECZ undertook a thorough analysis of the situation and different scenarios of preparing the register of voters for the 2021 General Elections and has made various adjustments to the election timetable in order to beat the tight timelines leading to the 2021 general elections.
He said the voter registration exercise will include mobile and online registration and urged every eligible voter to register and verify their details under the new register for the 2021 general elections.
Mr Nshindano said progress has been made towards finalization of guidelines for facilitation for prison voting by September 2020 in time for voter registration following a court judgment in the case between Prisons Care and Counselling Association (PRISCA) Vs Attorney General and ECZ in which the court held that prisoners right to vote should be upheld.
He also disclosed that the commission has proposed K1.4 billion budget for conducting the 2021 general election.
Mr Nshindano said in the interest of all the stakeholders and the public, ECZ will undertake a fresh registration of voters whilst ensuring that the current registered voters are still retained on provision that they present themselves for verification, update and capture of additional information required including biometric capture.
On the printing of ballot papers for the 2021 election, Mr Nshindano said the tender has been awarded to Al Ghurair of Dubai, after the two appeals that were before the Zambia Public Procurement Authority were reviewed and evaluation of the best bidder by the commission was upheld.
By OLIVER SAMBOKO