ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA ACT

Arrangement of Sections

   Section

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA

   3.   Seal of Commission

   4.   Functions of Commission

   5.   Composition of Commission

   6.   Proceedings of Commission

   7.   Committees

   8.   Emoluments

   9.   Chief Electoral Officer and other staff

   10.   Disclosure of interest

   11.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information to unauthorised persons

   12.   Oath on appointment

   13.   Immunity

PART III
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

   14.   Funds of Commission

   15.   Financial year

   16.   Accounts and audit

   17.   Annual report

PART IV
GENERAL PROVISIONS

   18.   General offences

   19.   Regulations

   20.   Repeal of Cap. 17

   21.   Transitional provisions

   22.   Legal proceedings

   23.   Staff of Electoral Commission

AN ACT

to provide for the membership, functions, operations and financial management of the Electoral Commission of Zambia; repeal and replace the Electoral Commission Act, 1996; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[7th June, 2016]

Act 25 of 2016.

PART I
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS

1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Electoral Commission of Zambia Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“associate” has the meaning assigned to it in the Anti-Corruption Act, 2012;

“Chairperson” means the person appointed Chairperson of the Commission under section 5;

“Chief Electoral Officer” means the person appointed Chief Electoral Officer of the Commission under section 9;

“Commission” means the Electoral Commission of Zambia established under Article 229 of the Constitution;

“Electoral Commission” means the Electoral Commission provided for under the repealed Act;

“emoluments” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“Emoluments Commission” means the Emoluments Commission established under Article 232 of the Constitution;

“function” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“member” means a person appointed as a member of the Commission under section 5;

“oath” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“relative” means—

   (a)   a person’s son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew, niece, parent, uncle, aunt, grandparent or cousin; and

   (b)   a person’s spouse or the spouse of any of the persons mentioned in paragraph (a);

“repealed Act” means the Electoral Commission Act, 1996;

“State organ” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution;

“superior court” has the meaning assigned to it in the Constitution; and

“Vice-Chairperson” means the person appointed Vice-Chairperson of the Commission under section 5.

PART II
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF ZAMBIA

3.   Seal of Commission

   (1) The seal of the Commission shall be such device as may be determined by the Commission and shall be kept by the Chief Electoral Officer.

   (2) The affixing of the seal shall be authenticated by the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and the Chief Electoral Officer or any other person authorised in that behalf by a resolution of the Commission.

   (3) A contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal may be entered into or executed without seal on behalf of the Commission by the Chief Electoral Officer or any other person generally or specifically authorised by the Commission in that behalf.

   (4) A document purporting to be under the seal of the Commission or issued on behalf of the Commission shall be received in evidence and shall be deemed to be so executed or issued, as the case may be, without further proof, unless the contrary is proved.

4.   Functions of Commission

   (1) Subject to the Constitution, the Commission shall direct, supervise and control elections in a fair and impartial manner.

   (2) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-section (1), the functions of the Commission are to—

   (a)   ensure that elections are free and fair;

   (b)   promote conditions conducive to free and fair elections;

   (c)   promote democratic electoral processes;

   (d)   supervise and control the registration of voters for the purposes of an election;

   (e)   supervise the preparation, publication and maintenance of a national voters’ register and local authority voters’ register;

   (f)   adjudicate disputes that may arise from the organisation, administration or conducting of elections, which are of an administrative nature;

   (g)   conduct education and information programmes to promote public awareness of electoral and parliamentary matters;

   (h)   provide information and advice on electoral matters to State organs;

   (i)   conduct and promote research into electoral matters and other matters that relate to its functions;

   (j)   establish and maintain liaison and cooperation with political parties; and

   (k)   do all such other things as are necessary or incidental to the performance of its functions under this Act.

   (3) The Commission may, in furtherance of its functions—

   (a)   collect any information that it considers necessary for the performance of its functions under the Constitution and this Act;

   (b)   undertake consultations, public hearings and inquiries for purposes of performing its functions under the Constitution and this Act; and

   (c)   receive written or oral statements from any person or organisation for purposes of its functions under this Act.

5.   Composition of Commission

   (1) The Commission consists of the following full-time members appointed by the President, subject to ratification by the National Assembly—

   (a)   the Chairperson;

   (b)   the Vice-Chairperson; and

   (c)   three other members.

   (2) A person qualifies for appointment as the Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson if that person has held, or is qualified to hold, the office of judge of a superior court.

   (3) A member of the Commission shall hold office for a term of seven years and may be re-appointed for a further term of seven years.

   (4) A member may resign upon giving one month’s notice, in writing, to the President.

   (5) The office of a member becomes vacant if the member—

   (a)   dies;

   (b)   resigns;

   (c)   is absent, without reasonable excuse, from three consecutive meetings of the Commission of which the member has had notice without the approval of the Commission;

   (d)   is adjudged bankrupt;

   (e)   is convicted of an offence under this Act or any other written law and sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding six months without the option of a fine;

   (f)   is removed by the President; or

   (g)   is mentally or physically incapable of performing the duties of a member.

   (6) A member shall, on the expiration of the period for which the member is appointed, continue to hold office until a successor is appointed, but in no case shall the further period exceed four months.

   (7) Whenever the office of a member becomes vacant before the expiry of the term of office, the President may appoint another person to be a member in place of the member who vacates the office for the unexpired term of that office.

6.   Proceedings of Commission

   (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the Commission may regulate its own procedure.

   (2) The Commission shall meet for the transaction of business at least once in every three months at such places and times as the Commission may determine.

   (3) A meeting of the Commission may be called by the Chairperson upon giving notice of not less than 14 days and shall be called by the Chairperson if one-third or more of the members so request in writing, except that if the urgency of any particular matter does not permit the giving of such notice, a special meeting may be called upon giving a shorter notice.

   (4) Five members shall form a quorum at a meeting of the Commission.

   (5) There shall preside at a meeting of the Commission—

   (a)   the Chairperson;

   (b)   in the absence of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson; and

   (c)   in the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, such other member as the members present may elect for the purposes of that meeting.

   (6) A decision of the Commission on any question shall be by a majority of the members present and voting at the meeting and in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding at the meeting shall have a casting vote in addition to that person’s deliberative vote.

   (7) Where a member is for any reason unable to attend any meeting of the Commission, the member may, in writing, nominate another person from the same organisation to attend such meeting in that member’s stead and such person shall be deemed to be a member for the purpose of that meeting.

   (8) The Commission may invite a person, whose presence is in its opinion desirable, to attend and to participate in the deliberations of the meeting of the Commission, but that person shall have no vote.

   (9) The validity of any proceedings, acts or decisions of the Commission shall not be affected by any vacancy in the membership of the Commission or by any defect in the appointment of any member or by reason that any person not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings.

   (10) The Commission shall cause minutes to be kept of the proceedings of every meeting of the Commission and every meeting of any committee of the Commission.

7.   Committees

   (1) The Commission may, for the purpose of performing its functions under this Act, establish such committees as it considers necessary and delegate to any of those committees such of its functions as it considers fit.

   (2) The Commission may appoint as members of a committee, persons who are or are not members, except that at least one member of a committee shall be a member.

   (3) A person serving as a member of a committee shall hold office for such period as the Commission may determine.

   (4) Subject to any specific or general direction of the Commission, a committee may regulate its own procedure.

8.   Emoluments

A member of the Commission or any committee of the Commission shall be paid such emoluments as the Emoluments Commission may determine.

9.   Chief Electoral Officer and other staff

   (1) There shall be a Chief Electoral Officer of the Commission who shall be appointed by the Commission.

   (2) The Chief Electoral Officer shall be the chief executive officer of the Commission, and subject to the general and specific directions of the Commission shall—

   (a)   be responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of the Commission;

   (b)   be an ex-officio member of the Commission; and

   (c)   exercise the functions conferred upon the Chief Electoral Officer by, or under, this Act.

   (3) The Commission shall, on such terms and conditions as it may determine, appoint such other staff and officers of the Commission as are necessary for purposes of this Act.

10.   Disclosure of interest

   (1) A person who is present at a meeting of the Commission or any committee of the Commission at which any matter is the subject of consideration, and in which matter that person or that person's relative or associate is directly or indirectly interested in a private capacity shall, as soon as is practicable after the commencement of the meeting, declare such interest and shall not, unless the Commission or the committee otherwise directs, take part in any consideration or discussion of, or vote on, any question relating to that matter.

   (3) A disclosure of interest made under sub-section (1) shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which it is made.

   (3) A person who contravenes sub-section (1) commits an offence and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

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