“It’s disheartening”: Zambia’s Church Leaders on 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report Secrecy

Representatives of Church leaders in Zambia under the auspices of the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG). Credit: CCMG

Representatives of Church leaders in Zambia under the auspices of the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) have decried the government’s failure to make public the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report.

Aimed at enhancing efficiency and effectiveness in the conduct of general elections, delimitation refers to the process of mapping and re-aligning of electoral boundaries, including details about polling stations, wards, and constituencies. 

In a statement shared with ACI Africa Thursday, March 30, CCMG officials say there seems to be some “secrecy” surrounding the 2019 report as it is yet to be released to the public since the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) handed it over to the executive in 2020. 

“It is disheartening that huge sums of taxpayers' money were spent on this exercise and four years later the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report is still being held by the executive,” say CCMG officials who include representatives of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) and the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR). 

We, therefore, call on the President to immediately release the 2019 Boundary Delimitation Report, which contains details of the number of Polling Stations, Polling Districts and Wards created prior to the 2021 general elections and the proposed increase to the current number of constituencies,” the church leaders say.


Zambia’s Electoral Commission conducted a delimitation exercise to realign some of the polling district boundaries and make them convenient for the electorate in December 2019. The delimitation exercise was conducted in preparation for the 2021 general elections. 

In February 2020, the delimitation report was handed over to former President of the Southern African nation, Edgar Chagwa Lungu. 

In the statement shared with ACI Africa March 30 that was also signed by representatives of the  Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ), the church leaders say the document needs to be released to the public as it is “critical to planning for both state and non-state actors.”

They add that it “must be in the interest of the President to release such reports to the public for their effective participation.” 

“CCMG believes that the government’s continued holding on to the report undermines the principle of transparency on the part of the government, which consequently has a bearing on the independence of the ECZ and its ability to fulfill its mandate without influence from the Executive,” CCMG officials say. 

More in Africa

They further call for “expeditious constitutional and electoral reform to give the Electoral Commission of Zambia full independence so that it fulfills its mandate independent of any political influence.”

ECZ officials have called on the Zambian government to introduce constitutional amendments that grant the commission authority to bar politicians and political parties whose supporters are involved in government from participating in elections. 

Founded in 2015, CCMG is an independent and nonpartisan election observer in the Southern African nation comprising four Christian forums: ZCCB, CCZ, EFZ, and JCTR.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.