South civic leaders urge govt to address voter registration challenges

MAYORS and council chairpersons in Southern Province say the government must learn to listen to the cry of the people who put them into power.

Reading a statement on behalf of civic leaders during a joint press conference at Mukabanji Lodge in Chisekesi, Zimba council chairperson Grave Muleya said the 2021 general elections will be far from reflecting the will of the Zambian people should the government fail to address challenges surrounding the voter registration as well as the recent mobile National Registration Card issuance exercise.

“The PF government must learn to listen to the cry of the people who put them into power. We have noted a lot of grey areas in the just ended mobile NRC issuance and the same problem has resurfaced in the ongoing voter registration exercise, a thing we feel needs urgent attention,” he said.

Muleya said God was not happy with the manner the PF government handled both the mobile NRC issuance and voter registration exercises.

“We need to follow the law as a country and do the right thing so that no citizen will be disenfranchised in the 2021 general elections,” he said. “This so-called voter online registration is just a game of playing with people’s minds and as such the 2021 elections will be very far from reflecting the will of the people.”

Muleya urged the Electoral Commission of Zambia to be proactive instead of being insensitive to people’s concerns surrounding the voter registration exercise.

“As mayors and council chairpersons in Southern Province we recommend that ECZ sends more ICT specialists in these centres. They must improve the quality of the voter’s cards. The commission should standardise working hours across the country,” demanded Muleya. “They must improve the pace of the exercise. Above all, this ongoing voter registration exercise should have concentrated on new NRC holders and maintain the old voter register.”

Meanwhile, Choma mayor Javern Simoloka urged citizens to register as voters in large numbers.

“There is no way people can improve their lives if they don’t vote. So my appeal to our people across the province is that let’s not give up and stay away, no! Please make sure that you register yourselves as voters so that together we decide the future of our country in next year’s general elections,” said Simoloka.

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