The Electoral Commission of Zambia says it is investigating images of a young boy who allegedly managed to obtain a National Registration Card and a voters card.
And Ministry of Home Affairs public relations officer Nephas Chifuta has charged that the UPND and some media houses are trying to discredit the electoral process by making it seem like children are getting registered.
Images of a young boy holding a NRC and voters card had circulated on social media on Tuesday.
But in an interview ECZ acting public relation manager Sylvia Bwalya said the Commission was aware of the situation and commenced investigations on the matter.
“Well, we are trying to investigate that issue, but as you may know, the law is very clear on who qualifies to register as a voter; one has to be 18 years old and above. As to whether that person is underaged or not, the commission is still investigating that issue. We have seen the pictures on social media but we have to investigate and get to the root of it. So we are investigating to find out what that is but of course no one below 18 is allowed to register as a voter. Only someone who is 18 and above can register as a voter. So, we are investigating that matter and hopefully we will get to the root of it. We are highly alerted on these issues and we are very much aware of what is circulating and we will try to get to the roots of this. We are working with the police on this matter,” Bwalya said, and in a statement released later, she stated that preliminary indications were that the image was staged.
And Bwalya said the Commission was still optimistic that it would attain the 9 million target of registered voters before December 12.
“The Commission is still optimistic that we will meet the numbers but we will reveal at the end of the exercise, which is the 12th of December 2020. At the end of the exercise, we will be able to review. But at the moment, we are optimistic that we will meet our target. We have three categories of operating hours: we have 24 hour service registration centers. Then we have 06 to 22:00 hours registrations centers. Then we also have 07:00 to 18:00 hours. So those are the three categories of operating hours. So those that are knocking off at 22:00 hours are within the 06:00 to 22:00 hours operation,” said Bwalya.
And Chifuta said the Ministry was aware of some politicians and media houses which were trying to discredit the electoral process.
“Remember what the same people were doing when the NRCs were being issued? What were they doing? They were getting kids, parade them and get the NRCs from adults and then take photos, they are still doing the same things. This is the media propaganda, they have actually just gone in to try and discredit the credibility of the process itself, the voters registration process itself. People today are aware of the propaganda being orchestrated by the UPND. I have a few elements in the media who are also driving their agenda and people are aware and those media houses, people are now looking at them with scorn,” said Chifuta.