THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says the last day of the mobile voter registration exercise still remains December 12, for now.
But Mwembeshi Independent member of parliament Machila Jamba says the Commission is arrogant and not listening to the views of the people.
In a brief interview, ECZ chief electoral officer Patrick Nshindano said there was currently no extension to the exercise.
“Staff are still being rolled out and there is no extension for now. The last date remains 12th December,” said Nshindano.
Nshindano was reacting to Paramount Chief Mpezeni who last week appealed to President Edgar Lungu to urge ECZ to extend the voter registration period to enable as many voters to register as possible.
But in a separate interview, Jamba lamented that in his constituency, the machines only captured about 150 people per day.
“We are not meeting the target. The printing machines can only capture limited people per day. If you are going to spend an average of eight to ten minutes on one person, how may people will be registered in a day? For example in Nampundwe we have over 9,000 voters but they are only able to capture 150 per day. The whole thing is a circus! We met Nshindano as members of parliament, they are so adamant, so arrogant, I don’t know whether they want to do elections in their own homes or it is a common good for all the Zambians. The election is about us the Zambians, we are the major stakeholders and when we tell them these concerns we are telling them without malice that these things are disadvantaging others. People are working, they have things to do you cannot expect them to be going every day to be on the queue, this is quite serious. May be they are being adamant they want to push people we are expecting that they extend when need arise for another one month. The voting capacity in Zambia is more than 10 million. Then they want to register five million that is not even half of the country. That is apathy we don’t want to go that way. Let them hear what we are saying. It is not our fault that they didn’t have the equipment,” said Jamba.
“The arguments that it is 30 days to register, it is not! How do you register people for seven days and you want to claim that it is 30 days? And they are saying when you don’t register at a certain polling station, you go to another one, the same place that they are suggesting you go to, does it mean that they are no people? There are people as well you are just going to cause congestion. There is nowhere they are registering for 24 hours here. They are doing that in Lusaka but what about the rural areas where I come from? Are they also extending, they are not! So what is the whole ball game? They should be very realistic, they are being funny people!