Following the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s (ECZ) commencement of Continuous Registration of Voters (CRV) on 5th September 2023, CCMG applauds the ECZ Voter Registration Officers for extensively adhering to the voter registration procedures. CCMG also commends the ECZ for releasing detailed registration figures noting the registration of over 4,000 voters, including over 2,000 youth. CCMG deployed monitors for Phase II of the CRV across the 20 District Registration Centers and has noted the following:
- Monitors’ Access to District Registration Centers
All CCMG accredited monitors were allowed access to the registration centers to observe the registration process. This is important as it demonstrated transparency of the exercise by the ECZ and CCMG encourages ECZ to continue to ensure accessibility of electoral processes for accredited monitors.
- Availability of Required Materials
All registration centers observed had all the required materials, such as registration application forms, Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) Kits and laminates, and were also equipped with a backup BVR kit.
- Registration Process
At all registration centers observed, all ECZ officials knew how to operate the BVR kits and the kits functioned optimally. CCMG also observed that applicants were requested to show proof of eligibility to register as voters by producing their NRC. Furthermore, CCMG noted the recording of disability type for persons with disabilities, which will help the ECZ to enhance inclusivity in civic participation.
CCMG notes that women made up less than half of registrants in September 2023, at 1,997 voters of the total 4,409 registered and only 43% of voters registered under the CVR exercise overall at 6,279 of 14,557 total registered voters. CCMG calls on eligible women to take advantage of the CVR exercise to register to vote in their districts and encourages all stakeholders to raise awareness of the CVR exercise.
CCMG urges political parties and other stakeholders to participate in the CVR process to better appreciate the exercise and engage the ECZ more meaningfully on any shortcomings of the exercise.
CCMG further urges the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security through the Department of National Registration Passports and Citizenship to enhance its publicity and stakeholder engagement of the INRIS exercise, as it is important for CRV. Finally, we call on Treasury to provide funding to ECZ so as to expand the implementation of CRV to all districts, considering that the current CRV exercise is only covering 17% of the districts, which is very low.