Delimitation priority for ECZ-Mambilima
Mwandi, September 15, 2014, ZANIS….Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson Justice Irene Mambilima says adjusting electoral boundaries was of priority concern to the Electoral body.
Justice Mambilima says this was to ensure that all the new districts have at least one constituency.
Justice Mambilima said the delimitation process will also help realign the boundaries of wards and constituencies that have been affected by the creation of new districts.
She was speaking in a speech read on her behalf by Mwandi District Electoral Officer Nelson Shikela at the official opening of a delimitation workshop held at Mwandi Basic Resource Centre.
Justice Mambilima said the establishment of the new districts has brought about scenarios that the commission would need to address as it prepares for the 2016 tripartite elections.
She noted that the current delimitation exercise which involves stakeholders will review the existing wards and polling district boundaries and further see the creation of new wards and polling districts.
Justice Mambilima stated that the exercise has been necessitated by several factors which included long distances that voters are required to cover during voter registration and elections.
She also noted that by creating new polling stations ,the commission would ensure that distances are reduced between polling stations and hence making it easier for the electorate to access polling stations.
Justice Mambilima further said that the delimitation exercise had also been necessitated by the national voter population increase.
She added that the last delimitation exercise which was done in 2015 had a population of 5.5 million eligible voters which had risen to about 7 million in 2014.
The ECZ chairperson stated that the commission had also established that some of the polling stations were located in places not convenient for conducting elections and that the exercise will therefore involve relocation of polling stations to more suitable areas.
Justice Mambilima further emphasized that the Commission will only be able to effect the delimitation of 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.
She however stated that the current delimitation exercise would not include the creation of more constituencies because the current constitution only provides for 150 constituencies.