The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is the autonomous electoral management body for the Republic of Zambia. The ECZ was established in 1996 under article 76 of the Constitution of Zambia.
The Commission, under the Electoral Commission of Zambia Act No. 25 of 2016, consists of the Chairperson, the Vice Chairperson and not more than three other members appointed by the President, subject to ratification by the National Assembly. The Chairperson, and in his absence the Vice Chairperson, has the responsibility to chair and manage the meetings and monitor the daily affairs of the Commission; and represents the Commission at various fora’s.
The policy related issues are discussed in the Commission meetings, and decisions are made based on the majority of votes of the members present in the meetings. The meetings of the Commission are conducted in the presence of the majority of members and three members form a quorum. The Chairperson, the Vice and each member of the Commission has the right of one equal vote. In the case of a tie the Chairperson has the casting vote.
The Chief Electoral Officer who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commission participates in these meetings representing Management, but does not have the right to vote
Section 9 of the Electoral Commission of Zambia Act No. 25 of 2016 provides for the appointment of the Chief Electoral Officer who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission and is responsible for the management and administration of the Commission; and implementation of the decisions of the Commission.
The Chief Electoral Officer is an ex-officio of the Commission. All policy decisions are made by the Commission, while the Management is responsible for the implementation of all decisions of the Commission.
The roles of the Commission and Management are distinct. The Commission sets the strategic direction, monitors operational performance, compliance, management processes and policies and sets authority levels. The Commission has four (4) Committees chaired by Members of the Commission, namely Finance; Administration; Elections and Logistics; and Publicity and Voter Education. There are also other Committees created by Legislation that include the Audit Committee; Procurement Committee and Integrity Committee.
The Commission has nine (9) departments that have specific responsibilities related to the electoral affairs. These are Electoral Operations, Information Technology, Legal, Finance, Voter Education, Procurement, Human Resource and Administration, Public Relations and Audit.