Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) has called the Electoral Process (Amendment) Act of 2021 shallow and limited because it does not focus on the whole electoral process.
In a statement made available to the media, TI-Z Executive Director Maurice Nyambe, said the Act provides for voting for incarcerated people and polling stations for inmates, but is lacking in terms of wider stakeholder engagement.
Consequently, the amended Act which is meant to address the modalities for prisoners to vote, is limited in terms of scope. Many issues around how to have access and to campaign in prisons have not been addressed and therefore remain unclear,Mr. Nyambe.
He further said TI-Z noted from their analysis that the amended Act extensively focuses on the polling day while neglecting to make adequate provision for the campaign period.
It is not enough for a candidate to deliver materials for distribution in prisons, there is need to put in place modalities or fair access,Mr. Nyambe.
He has since urged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and the Zambia Correctional Service to provide more clarity on these issues in order for there to be assurance about the integrity of the electoral process in relation to the prison vote.
Mutinta is an avid and passionate writer, who revels in stories about people. She has recently been published in a collective anthology of short stories, twice longlisted for the prestigious Kalemba Short Story Prize and has a personal blog that can be found at www.thelovingkindblog.wordpress.com
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