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Monday, 27 July 2009

Broke institutions (ECZ), 2nd Edition

It appears after highlighting this issue exactly one year ago, the Electoral Commission of Zambia is still crippled by poor funding :
Justice Mumba explains that despite the law allowing the for continuous voter registration being in place since 2001, eight years down the line, the law has still not been implemented mainly due to lack of funds. She says in 2002, the commission submitted a budget of k52 billion of which only k300 million was approved, k962 million in 2003, while no funds were allocated in 2005 and 2006. Justice Mumba adds that in 2007, a budget of 199 billion was submitted to the ministry of finance and national planning and only k84 million was approved, with no allocation being provided in 2008. She says government has only allocated K5billion in this year's budget while the commission requires k48 billion to commence the exercise.
As we have said repeatedly in our "broke institutions" thread, the problem in Zambia is not that we don't have good laws, we do, the problem is lack of enforcement. There's a lack of political will in many areas. How else does one explain why the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), making new laws gets more money (and smoothly), than an already legal office like the Electoral Commission of Zambia, obliged under law to fulfil its duties? It begs the question of why we are bothering with the NCC if one is unwilling to enforce existing legal provisions. Of course we understand why the ECZ is underfunded and the NCC delegates are fully endowed - I touch on this under Satanomics, 2nd Edition.

3 comments:

  1. Zambians are naturally apathetic people with nothing to do with elections. Unless a major development altering their lives with Generational effect happens, they are apathetic people.There is a historic partnern to this view from 1964, 1972, 1991 to present.There is no alternative to ruling MMD right now other than the same strait jacket criminals with indellible bad records merely changing political positions and insulting each other.There is no ideology, policy or vision difference.Real change is coming after MMD clocks 25 years in power which historically amounts to Generational change.

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  2. This means pumping too much funds in a voter registration exercise which will not improve number of votes is mismanaging resources.Whatever has been done in the past two months is enough.In 2006 and 2008 we had 4 million plus registered voters yet less than 2 million voted.Its better money is committed to better things which make social impact than a useless exercise.There is no fundamental issues to shift voters other than tribal alignments and daily insults.

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  3. Implementing a continuous registration system does have associated costs, however over the long term such systems tend to save money. That's because most people's voting status doesn't change very often (either they change residence, or they die). It is inherently wasteful to require every voter to re-register for every election. A continuous system also allows voter registration activities to be a low impact process performed at other government offices as a matter of routine day-to-day business instead of a high demand special occasion. For example, US voters routinely obtain or renew voter registrations along with drivers' licenses, or when visiting the post office. Since the overall volume of registration forms is lower and spread over the entire election cycle, fewer personnel-hours and physical resources are devoted while scrutiny for fraud generally improves.

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