The Center for Constitutionalism and Legal Justice (CCONLEJ) has urged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to extend the period for accreditation of local monitors, observers and party agents.
Organisation Director Isaac Mwanza says “We call on the Commission to urgently resolve inconsistencies being experienced in different councils and provide uniform guidance about this process.
We note with concern, he says, that different accreditation process is being followed by different local authorities undertaking this task on behalf of ECZ, contrary to the ECZ guideline issued on July 12, 2021.
Mr Mwanza says some councils are requiring thousands of monitors while others do not require physical presence of persons being accredited.
“The requirement of physical presence has the potential to endanger the lives of observers, monitors, and party agents to COVID-19 and is against the established guidelines by ECZ that discourages public gatherings.
Further, we have observed that some staff conducting accreditation are erroneously limiting the number of persons to be issued with accreditation to 5 per constituency when the guidance in the ECZ public notice was 2 monitors and 2 party agents per polling station.
“These inconsistencies and lack of clarification from the Commission has the potential to hamper efforts by independent organizations to monitor and observer these election as part of giving the process the required legitimacy it deserves.
Additionally, the accreditation process commenced later than the date of issue of the public notice herein referred to,” he says.
He told Smart Eagles that the Commission must therefore consider extending the deadline for issuing accreditation to local monitors and political party agents.