The Civil Society for Civic Participation and Good Governance (CCMG) has commended the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for its diligent adherence to voter registration procedures during the Continuous Registration of Voters (CRV) phase, which commenced on September 5th, 2023.
In a statement issued by Peter Mwanangombe, CCMG Program Manager, the organizations extensive monitoring efforts during Phase II of the CRV have provided valuable insights into the process.
One of the key highlights of CCMG’s observation is the open and transparent nature of the ECZ’s voter registration process.
All CCMG-accredited monitors were allowed access to the registration centers to oversee the registration process, demonstrating a commitment to transparency. The organization encourages the ECZ to maintain accessibility for accredited monitors in all electoral processes.
During the monitoring process, CCMG observed that all registration centers had the necessary materials, including registration application forms, Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) Kits, laminates, and backup BVR kits. This ensured the smooth operation of the registration process.
At all observed registration centers, ECZ officials demonstrated proficiency in operating the BVR kits, which functioned optimally. Applicants were requested to provide proof of eligibility by presenting their National Registration Cards (NRC).
Notably, CCMG observed the recording of disability types for persons with disabilities, enhancing inclusivity in civic participation.
CCMG also reported a gender disparity in the voter registration process. In September 2023, women accounted for less than half of the registrants, with only 1,997 women out of a total of 4,409 registered voters.
Overall, women constituted only 43% of voters registered under the CRV exercise, with 6,279 women out of a total of 14,557 registered voters.
CCMG encourages eligible women to take advantage of the CRV exercise and calls on all stakeholders to raise awareness of the ongoing exercise.
The organization urges political parties and other stakeholders to actively participate in the CRV process to gain a better understanding of the exercise and engage with the ECZ more meaningfully regarding any shortcomings.
CCMG further calls on the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security through the Department of National Registration, Passports, and Citizenship to enhance its publicity and stakeholder engagement for the INRIS exercise, as it plays a crucial role in the CRV process.
Finally, CCMG calls on the Treasury to provide funding to the ECZ for the expansion of the CRV to cover all districts. Currently, the CRV exercise only covers 17% of the districts, which is deemed insufficient.
CCMG further commends the ECZ for its commitment to transparent and efficient voter registration and urges all stakeholders to work together to ensure a fair and inclusive electoral process in Zambia.