Kaputa proposes ward increase

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Kaputa District has proposed to increase the number of wards in Kaputa Central Constituency from the current  eleven to fifteen.

Stakeholders who are meeting for the delimitation exercise in Kaputa today have also proposed to increase the number of polling districts in the constituency from the current 37 to 44.

Kaputa District Electoral Officer Patson Kapoba said the exercise has been necessitated by among other reasons population increase and the long distances that voters cover during both voter registration and voting.

Mr. Kapoba said by doing this the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ)  hopes to deliver a more efficient electoral service to the people.

He however emphasized that the change in the number of wards will only be effected after the Minister of Local Government approves the proposals and issues a statutory instrument to legalize them.

“I wish to emphasis that the electoral commission will only effect the delimitation of the new council wards after the ministry of Local Government issues the statutory instrument to legalize the new wards in accordance with section 9 (2) of the Local Government Act Cap 281 which states that “After consultations with a council, the Minister of Local Government may by statutory order, alter the number of councilors ofthe council”.

Mr. Kapoba who is also Kaputa District Council Secretary said this at the opening of the 2014 district delimitation exercise in Kaputa .

He has meanwhile explained that the delimitation exercise will not result in the increase in the number of constituencies as this requires making amendments to the constitution.

He said the current constitution only provides for 150 constituencies and any change in the number needs to be reflected in the constitution.

Mr. Kapoba said there is however need to adjust the electoral boundaries to realign wards and constituencies for newly created districts.

He added that some constituency boundaries have been affected by the revision of district boundaries, meaning that the commission will have to adjust some constituency, ward and poling district boundaries to avoid a situation where a constituency falls within two or more districts.

He noted that the creation of new districts has resulted in some constituencies overlapping into two districts the case he said makes election administration difficulty hence the need to adjust constituencies.

He said the commission has proposed to government to amend the constitution in order to increase the number of constituencies from current 150 to 235 as proposed during the 2011 delimitation exercise.

The ECZ is currently undertaking a delimitation exercise aimed at increasing the number of wards in some districts as well as increase the number of polling districts countrywide .