–Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says it will soon start the delimitation process of wards and polling district boundaries throughout the country.
ECZ Justice Commissioner Chulu says the development been necessitated by the increased voter population from five point five million voters under the 2005 population to seven million voters this year.
The Justice Commissioner the sittings is aimed at reviewing the existing wards and polling district boundaries.
He said this when he officially opened a two days Katete District stakeholder’s delimitation sitting at the council chambers, today.
The sittings are aimed at reviewing the existing wards and polling district boundaries.
Justice Commissioner Chulu said the commission is currently looking at ways of reducing distances people walk during voter registration and elections.
He added that it is the commissions desire to see to it that the distance is reduced to about five kilometers.
The Justice Commissioner noted that other factors that have necessitated the exercises included population increase, creation of new districts and new settlements among others.
He observed that because of governments’ commitment to improving service delivery to its people, government has created twenty-nine new districts across the country thereby increasing the number of districts to one hundred and three from seventy four.
He said because of this the commission has seen it fit to revise some of the district boundaries to pave way for the new districts.
Justice Commissioner Chulu said in view of these changes his Commission will have to adjust some constituency, ward and polling district boundaries in order to avoid a situation where constituency falls within two or more districts.
He further said Katete and Petauke districts were examples of districts that that has been affected due to the creation of Sinda as a district as some wards and polling districts are now falling into more than one district.
The current constitution on Article number 63 provides that “the national assembly shall consist of: 150 elected members, eight (8) nominated of parliament and the Speaker of the National Assembly”.
He further said the commission has made a proposal to have 235 constituencies country wide.
Justice Commissioner Chulu stated that the commission has hope that the delimitation of polling districts will result in an efficient electoral service delivery in the country.
Meanwhile Katete District which is divided in two constituencies was today guided to create two more wards which would see the creation of 16 polling stations.
The sitting which attracted participation from Mkaika and Milanzi Member of Parliament was however advised not to choose buildings owned by political parties, private buildings as polling stations or places that are next to drinking places as such was identified as a source of confusion during elections.
The commission advised that stakeholders to choose church Buildings, community halls or government schools.
Meanwhile some Councilors wondered if government was also considering increasing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as the increase in wards will result in the increased shares from the Constituency Development Fund.
And Mkaika Member of Parliament Peter Phiri wanted to know if the creation of polling stations was going to decongest the current polling station.
In Response the Commission informed the house the Electoral Commission was going to increase the number of polling streams in the already existing polling stations.
The commission added that in some areas the commission will relocate polling stations in order to make them more accessible.