THE creation of a new voters’ register is a ploy by the PF Government to sideline voters in opposition strongholds so that they can find it easy to win the 2021 general elections, UPND spokesperson, Charles Kakoma has claimed.

Mr Kakoma said if the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) comes up with a new voters’ register, several eligible voters in opposition strongholds would be deliberately left out.

He said in an interview that Government will start by denying more people in opposition strongholds national registration cards so that they do not vote.
“This is a ploy by the PF Government,” claimed Mr Kakoma.

Mr Kakoma also said ECZ had no capacity to register nine million voters in 30 days as planned.
He said for the ECZ to meet such a target, it had to register 300, 000 voters in day was “impossible.”
Mr Kakoma said Government did not have enough money to finance such an exercise.

“We can see that they are already struggling with the NRC issuance exercise. Sometimes materials run out and vehicles struggle with fuel,” he said.
But PF Lusaka Province Secretary Kennedy Kamba however said that the opposition were just frustrated because the cleaning of dead voters was progressive.

Mr Kamba said revelations that about 1.4 million voters had died was reason enough to have a new register.

“Why should UPND president Hakainde Hichilema insist on having the deceased people on the voters’ roll? It’s because they know that’s where their numbers come from,” he said.

Mr Kamba observed that Mr Hichilema had been scheming to frustrate the voters’ roll cleansing process with careless talk.

He said the UPND, and its ally the NDC want to frustrate the process because they were aware that PF was too popular for them.

“They have seen another election defeat coming and they are just hating everyone,” he said.
Mr Kamba observed that despite most leaders appreciating that the voters’ roll needed to be reviewed, UPND kept insisting on the old register.
At the political parties’ presidents summit, ECZ chief executive officer, Patrick Shindano warned that sticking to the old voters’ register would lead to voter apathy because some voters had died.

He called on political parties and other stakeholders to work together in cleaning up the voters’ register in readiness for next year’s polls.
Mr Shindano said the current register had over one million ghost voters and that the ECZ alone could not cleanse the system.

He said ECZ was within its mandate in undertaking all the activities and had the capacity to register nine million voters within the planed timeframe.
Mr Shindano called on political parties to encourage their members to get NRCs and get registered as voters during the exercise. -Daily Nation


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