The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) does not have powers to create new constituencies against the will of the electorates, says spokesperson Margaret Chimanse.
Last week, the opposition UPND, through its media team, issued a statement stating that the Commission had proposed to increase the number of constituencies in Lusaka District from the current seven to 12.
The UPND further charged that the ECZ had proposed to divide Matero into two as well as Mandevu and Munali, while a new Makeni constituency would be created.
“The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has proposed to increase the number of constituencies in Lusaka District from the current 7 to 12 and increase the number of wards from 33. According to a proposal document presented at the on-going Lusaka District Delimitation Exercise at Nakatindi Hall, today, Matero will have Matero East and Matero West constituencies, while Mandevu will be divided into Mandevu and Roma constituencies with Lusaka Central constituency to include Woodlands constituency. Munali is proposed to have Munali and Mtendere constituencies, while the 12th constituency to be called Makeni constituency is proposed to be created,” stated the UPND.
“The delimitation meeting heard that Kanyama and Harry Mwaanga Nkhumbula shall remain a part of Kanyama, while Munkolo is to move to the new Makeni constituency, which shall also consist of two other wards, which form part of Chawama constituency. Lusaka Central’s Lubwa ward is proposed to become a part of Kabwata, while Kamulanga ward and parts of Kamwala ward are proposed to become a part of Chawama constituency.”
But Chimanse, in an interview, explained that the delimitation exercise was ongoing and that the Commission would only adopt what stakeholders wanted.
“The ECZ doesn’t even have powers to do that (create more constituencies). This is a consultative process and the meeting is [still] taking place at Nakatindi Hall. All stakeholders are invited to participate and make submissions. Whatever is taken from there is what the Commission will look at. It is by consensus. I think it’s important to understand the process and how it works as opposed to just making statements,” said Chimanse.
In July this year, the Commission launched its 2019 nationwide Delimitation Exercise aimed at mapping and realigning electoral boundaries for easy access by voters in readiness for the 2021 general elections.