..Registration period reduced from 60 to 30 days due to tight deadlines leading to election

Friday….June 12 2020 (Smart Eagles)

The Electoral Commission of Zambia ECZ has made various adjustments to the election timetable in order to beat the tight timelines leading to the 2021 general elections.

The commission has since announced that Voter registration which was planned to be undertaken in May 2020 for 60 days has now been rescheduled to October 2020 for 30 days.

ECZ Chief Electoral Officer Patrick Nshindano announced during a media briefing today that the commission had to make adjustments in the election time table in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the commission has reviewed stakeholder recommendations about its intention to embark on a new voter register of voters which targets 9 million voters.

“The voter registration exercise will include mobile as well as online voter registration. In this regard, every eligible voter will have to register/verify their details under the register for the 2021” Mr Nshindano stated and said steady progress towards finalization of guidelines to facilitate for prison voting by September 2020 in time for voter registration.

He said it would be in the best interest of all stakeholders and the general public for the commission to undertake a fresh registration of voters whilst ensuring that the current registered voters are still retained on provision that they present themselves for verification, update and capture of additional information required including biometric capture which includes 10 finger prints and a potrait.

And Mr Nshindano has disclosed that the tender for printing of ballot papers for the 2021 elections has been awarded to Al Ghurair of Dubai, United Arab Emirates after the two appeals that were before the Zambia Public Procurement Authority were reviewed and evaluation of the best bidder was upheld.

On the preparedness of the 2021 elections, Mr Nshindano disclosed that the proposed budget to conduct the election stands at 1.4 billion Kwacha.

He disclosed that procurements of voter registration and election materials have reached an advanced stage adding that the commission wants to ensure that both security and non security materials are delivered on time to avert late or delayed delivery of materials to polling stations.

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