Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Zambia: EC cautioned against recruiting staff away from where they registered as voters

An electoral expert has expressed concern at the emerging trend by the ECZ of recruiting part-time poll staff away from the districts they are registered as voters.

McDonald Chipenzi who is former FODEP Executive Director said there is a risk of disenfranchising the people being recruited something he said would contribute to voter apathy.

“There is need for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to reconsider the recruitment criterion of part-time poll staff ahead of the General Elections to avoid disenfranchising some of recruits.

“The emerging trend of recruiting individuals as part-time poll staff from other districts to manage polling stations away from the districts where they are registered in has got a disenfranchising effect on many recruits.

“This has the potential to also contribute to voter apathy and to undermining the very democratic process the Commission is supposed to promote and nurture,” he said.

Mr Chipenzi has since called on the Commission to redeploy the poll staff who have been taken away from their districts.

“To this end, the appeal to the Commission is to redeploy those Poll staff to their districts of origin to enable them participate and exercise their political and electoral rights.

“It is also imperative for the Commission to consider putting mechanisms that ensured quality control on the recruited staff to avoid inefficiencies that have a potential to compromise the administration and management of the electoral process,” he said.

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