UPND demands for increased manpower for voter registration exercise

Dr Musokotwane

The United Party for National Development (UPND) has demanded for immediate increase in the number of Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) officials conducting the voter registration exercise to avoid disfranchising eligible citizens in next year’s general elections.
UPND parliamentary whip Situmbeko Musokotwane says the lack of adequate manpower and equipment at polling stations especially in rural areas was disappointing and called on the elections body to consider maintaining the current voters register which has more than 6 million voters and concentrate on new voters to reach the target of 9 million voters.
He said reports reaching his office from UPND Members of Parliament across the country provide a gloomy picture of the exercise hence the need for the commission to put its act in order and serve the nation in accordance with its mandate.
Dr Musokotwane indicated that reports from his constituency of Liuwa indicate challenges such as faulty machines, dry ink and faulty generators resulting in only 13 people obtaining new voters cards at one polling station in a day.
“The exercise is very slow as ECZ has only dispatched one poll officer to each polling station who is doing all the activities such as taking down details, biometrics and laminating which is quite too much for an individual. We demand as members of Parliament of the UPND that the ECZ immediately dispatches more manpower to the stations to make the process more effective,” Dr Musokotwane said.
He further charged that the failure by the government to conduct the nationwide census exercise due to lack of funds has not helped matters as the country was operating on guess work in as far as the number of eligible voters is concerned. Zambia has for the first time failed to conduct census which is conducted every ten (10) years.
Dr Musokotwane charged that the ECZ was broke because they spent a lot of resources on PF induced by-elections.

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