5,000 people missing from voters’ register

MORE than 5,000 newly-registered voters in 12 districts are reportedly missing from the 2016 provisional voters’ register which was opened to public scrutiny from May 15 to 25, this year.
Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) public relations officer Cris Akufuna said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that an estimated 5,600 newly-registered voters were missing from the provisional register.
Mr Akufuna said the anomaly, which was traced during the 10-day verification exercise of the register, represented about 0.3 per cent of the 1.69 million new voters recorded during the 2015/2016 voter registration exercise.
“Some districts reported missing voters from the 2016 provisional register of voters with an estimated 5,600 new registrations affected in the 12 districts.
The districts are Kapiri Mposhi, Itezhi-Tezhi, Lufwanyama, Chingola, Sinda, Nchelenge, Lusaka, Kaputa, Kabompo, Kasempa, Manyinga and Kalomo.
Mr Akufuna said preliminary reports from the districts countrywide indicated an average turnout of 30 per cent of eligible voters who turned up to inspect the register at the various polling stations.
“The short code *214# recorded more than 453,000 verifications while the ECZ website recorded more than 23,800 searches,” he said.
Mr Akufuna said some voters were found to be registered to vote at wrong polling stations and this was evidenced at six polling stations in Chisamba, Luanshya, Sinda and Chinsali districts.
He said the Commission was taking corrective measures to all the anomalies encountered during the verification exercise.
For each of the report of missing voters, Mr Akufuna said the ECZ would process records from back-up files and registration forms after which the affected individuals would be added to the register.
“For the voters registered in wrong polling stations, registration data from the affected kits is being analysed to resolve the issue.
“Errors for individual records were addressed by the inspection officers in the various polling stations and at the head office during the verification exercise,” Mr Akufuna said.
He also said the Commission was taking seriously a media report alleging that the provisional voters’ register contained entries of foreigners.
The report, which was being investigated by the police, further alleged that a named political party had facilitated the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) to foreigners in constituencies bordering Malawi, specifically Chadiza and Vubwi in Eastern Province.
“As a result of this report, the Commission has since written to political parties to submit information to assist with investigations in the matter.
“The Commission invites political parties to inspect the provisional register at its premises in this regard,” Mr Akufuna said.

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