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ECZ is not doing away with old voter register in totality, says Wina

VICE-PRESIDENT Inonge Wina has told Parliament that the Electoral Commission of Zambia is not completely doing away with the current Voters’ Register.

And Vice-President Wina says the advice government receives from the opposition UPND is very disparaging.

Responding to a question from Lufwanyama UPND member of parliament Leonard Fungulwe, who wanted to know why government does not take advice from other stakeholders, Vice-President Wina said the current Voters’ Register contained many names of dead people.

“The debt crisis in Zambia is as a result of government not taking up the advice. The Minister of Finance brought a ministerial statement to the House and he confessed and he agreed to say government, they never took up the advice; and this time around the government should be able to take up the advice,” said Fungulwe. “Now, there’s also another advice given to government concerning the deleting of the current Voters’ Roll. So, Your Honour, the Vice-President, if you don’t take up this advice, don’t you think government will regret again?”

In response, Vice-President Wina claimed that only names of dead people would be removed.

This is contrary to ECZ’s official position that they will introduce a complete new register.

“Now, on the voter register, the new voter register is necessary. ECZ is not doing away with the old voter register in totality,” she said during the Vice-President’s question time. “Some of the people who have passed on still appear on the old register to the tune of 1.4 million Zambians who were voters but now they’re no more. And, surely, these should be deleted from the new voters’ register that we shall use in 2021.”

She further said the opposition UPND has condemned the current register.

Vice-President Wina said it was one of the reasons the party petitioned the courts of law in 2016.

“It was one of the reasons why they went to court to complain that the voters’ register and the register’s roll is not perfect; it needs some adjustments. All this is to ensure that there’re no litigations against the ECZ when it comes to the authenticity of the voter register,” she said. “Equally, the international community that was approached also advised that this voter register should be worked on to ensure that you come up with a valid register where the members or where the voters will have even new features, biometric features that will authenticate the voter; including the new portraits and the fingerprints, 10 fingerprints will show.”

When opposition Chief Whip and Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu later rose on a point of order, asking why the Vice-President was misleading the nation by contradicting ECZ’s position on the matter, National Assembly Speaker Patrick Matibini advised him to file a written question.

And Vice-President Wina said the UPND had never advised government formally on how to manage the huge debt the country has accumulated.

“On debt, there has never been a formal advice from the UPND to the Minister of Finance on the debt sustainability, how to manage Zambia’s debt. But the minister welcomed some of the remarks that have been made in the past from the opposition regarding Zambia’s debt,” said Vice-President Wina. “And it’s not true that this government does not receive advice. But the advice is not really coming in the form of advice; it’s coming in the form of disparaging the government. And sometimes it’s very difficult for the one who is advised in that manner to take that advice genuinely. But, on the other hand, some of the sentiments that have been expressed by the opposition have been taken on board.”

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