ELECTORAL Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chief elections officer Patrick Nshindano says the commission has registered 16,000 voters through the Pre-registration online platform since its launch on Monday.
Speaking during a briefing, Tuesday, Nshindano said the commission observed that the Pre-Registration was already a success in the few hours it was launched and that the commission was hopeful that it would reach its intended target.
“The pre registration so far has been very successful for the few hours that we have observed. In just a few hours we had over 16 000 registrations, we hope that this trend will continue. We will be able to observe in the next 24 hours. If that goes well, we should be able to capture the targets that we are targeting as a commission. It will also make it very easy for one who is registering because your details would be already been uploaded and when you come through, basically on the part of the commission we are just verifying that yes this is the individual, we capture your biometrics and then we issue you with a card,” Nshindano said.
“As we stated, the pre online registration exercise is meant to facilitate for quick registration and to mitigate the risks in terms of time, contact of COVID and also to be able to keep up with best practices not only in the region but in the world. We hope that stakeholders, especially political parties, can be able to support us as we embark on this journey.”
He said voter’s who would use the pre online registration would have to wait for the mobile registration of voters which is expected to commence on the 28th of October to get their voter’s cards.
“The Pre online will run for 46 days, so from yesterday which was the 21st, right up to 6th of November. It is important to note that those that will register before the mobile registration will have to wait until the mobile registration commences for you to pick up your card because that is when we will be able to deploy physical staff that will be issuing the card. When you register today, you get a prompt that will tell you that you will be contacted by via text to be able to direct you to the designated registration centers where you will be able to pick up your card. It is very simple please do take advantage of this,” he said.
“So the mobile issuance of the card will start on the 28th of October to 30th November. So those dates please keep in mind and we ensure that we register. Please note that as a commission we are set to ensure that the process is concluded in a stipulated period of time. Don’t wait to say the commission will always extend please ensure that is done because of the constitution timeline which we are dealing with.”
Nshindano stressed that every voter was required to register because the commission would be issuing new voters cards with biometric features.
“So the pre online is now active, one can register online. It must be noted that this is not an end to end process. What it entails is that you will be able to provide your details in advance such as your names, copies of your NRCs thereafter you still be required to present yourself before a registration officer to be able to capture your biometric details and then be issued with a new voter’s card. One of the issues that has been misunderstood and I need to clarify this is that yes there will be a new voter’s card that will be issued. The current voter’s card will not be used,” said Nshindano.
“There have been a lot of aspects raised, questioning why we are unable to maintain the old register as it were? It is very simple I did allude to the fact that the commission did undertake delimitation in 2019 which of course has been concluded this year in terms of putting in place new boundaries. With delimitation, it renders existing electoral boundaries null and void; because you will find certain polling station names have changed, you will find polling districts have changed, certain wards will also change. If Parliament enacts the delimitation of constituencies, that will also change. So there is nowhere you can have a register with different parameters as to what is existing on the ground.”