The Human Rights Commission (HRC/Commission) is encouraged by the overwhelming turn out of eligible voters to register during the on-going voter registration exercise.

The show of determination to exercise their constitutional and democratic right to vote during the 2021 elections by the majority of Zambians is encouraging and it is the responsibility of the Government to fulfill their right. From the time the Voter Registration Exercise started, the Commission has observed continued queues of eligible citizens in their quest to register at various registration centres. Further, the Commission has observed that unlike in the previous voter registration exercises which were characterised by apathy, current exercise is characterised by large numbers of people voluntarily turning up to register.

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (EZC) has been doing everything possible within its capacity but it is common knowledge that it has been struggling to adequately meet the popular public demand to register the minimum estimated eligible voters of nine (9) million within the initially set time frame of 30 days.

The Human Rights Commission is confident that it is not too late for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to take all necessary measures to mitigate disenfranchising eligible voters during the on-going registration exercise.

It is against this background that the Commission calls upon the Government to adequately support ECZ so that willing eligible voters are not disenfranchised because of lack of the capacity of the Electoral Body to register them.

Voter registration is an integral part of a free, fair and credible election in which the legitimacy and authority of Government should be based on universal and equal suffrage as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments.

Issued by:

Mweelwa Muleya