THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says it will suspend the voter registration exercise for seven days in Lubansenshi and Solwezi constituencies to facilitate for the holding of parliamentary by-elections on September 24.
ECZ chairperson Esau Chulu said the two exercises (voter registration and elections) cannot be conducted concurrently because the same centres, and in some cases, the same officers will be used for both exercises.
Justice Chulu said ECZ decided to suspend the voter registration exercise in the affected constituencies and wards from September 21 to 27.
During a stakeholders’ meeting on preparations for voter registration, he said the ECZ has delivered all voter registration materials and has made a lot progress in preparing for the forthcoming voter registration exercise scheduled to start on September 14, this year.
Justice Chulu said the voter registration exercise will update the existing permanent register of voters and that the major activities will be registration of new voters, amendments of voter details and removal of deceased voters.
He said the ECZ will not extend the mobile voter registration in any province but will conduct a countrywide registration exercise for 14 days in March next year to cater for those who may not have obtained their national registration cards during the mobile registration process.
Justice Chulu said ECZ is committed to ensuring accountability, transparency and fairness in the manner elections are conducted in the country.
He said they will continue engaging stakeholders concerning the electoral process to ensure transparency.
Judge Chulu further said the ECZ does not take kindly to accusations that it is attempting to rig elections.
“We are very hurt indeed when we hear accusations of rigging or facilitating rigging. We do not subscribe to rigging. It means we are not worthy to be in that institution. Our aim is to deliver a free, fair and transparent election,” he said.