CCMG Pleased with Extensive Adherence to Registration Procedure by ECZ Registration Officers; Remains Concerned with Registration Center Accessibility

The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) has been observing Continuous Registration of Voters (CRV) since its commencement on 5 September 2023, when CCMG deployed monitors for the CRV Phase II, across the 20 District Registration Centres. All of CCMG’s accredited monitors were allowed access to the registration centres to observe the registration process. In its long-term observation (LTO) findings for April 2024, CCMG commends the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for its extensive adherence to the Voter Registration Procedures and for providing CRV disaggregated data. In its observation, CCMG observed that:

  • All registration centres 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.
  • At all the registration centres observed, all ECZ officials knew how to operate the BVR kits and the kits functioned optimally.
  • At all registration centres observed, CCMG observed that applicants were requested to show proof of eligibility to register as voters by producing their National Registration Card (NRC) and, in the case of lost voter card-replacements, ECZ officials requested the required police reports for lost voter cards.
  • At all registration centres observed, CCMG observers reported that there was no registration of people who appeared to be under-age or non-Zambian, demonstrating strict adherence to procedure and requirements by ECZ’s registration officers.
    However, CCMG notes the inaccessibility of five (5) registration centres for persons with disabilities (PWDs). In December 2023, CCMG shared a comprehensive list of all registration centres with accessibility challenges with the ECZ. While the ECZ had made progress towards erecting ramps in registration centres, CCMG observers reported that five (5) out of the 20 registration centres remain inaccessible for PWDs. CCMG reiterates the ECZ’s mandate to ensure that all prospective registrants can easily access registration centres, as pronounced by High Court in the Sela Brotherton case.
    CCMG notes that women made up more than half of registrants in April, at 5,891 voters of the total 10,791 registered, representing 54.6% of registrants, a 4.6 % increase from the March period. Cumulatively, the number of women registrants still lags behind men across all age groups. Nearly 5,955 of all registrants during this period were under 25 years, and CCMG encourages youth and first-time voters, women, and people with disabilities to take advantage of the CRV to register to vote in their respective districts, and calls on the ECZ and all stakeholders, including political parties, to raise awareness of the CRV exercise.
    CCMG applauds the recording of disability types for persons with disabilities, which will help the ECZ and its stakeholders to enhance inclusivity and civic participation. However, CCMG calls on the ECZ to take all necessary measures to ensure that temporal ramps are erected in all registration centers to enable accessibility for PWDs.