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.
Hon. Mr. Justice Esau E. Chulu – Chairperson
Justice Esau Elliot Chulu was appointed Commissioner at the Electoral Commission of Zambia in December 2009.
Before he was appointed Commissioner, he was an Advocate of the High Court and Supreme Court of Zambia and held various positions namely; he was judge in charge of both commercial and general lists- high court, Lusaka; member of the editorial board of council of law reporting; he was chairperson of the Bar/Bench committee, chairperson of the Legal Aid Board; former chief Legal Counsel- Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM). Justice Chulu is also a former lecturer- professional conduct and ethics at Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE).
He is a member of the commonwealth magistrates and judges Association (CMJA).
He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) obtained from the University of Zambia- UNZA. And a Masters in Law (LLM) obtained from the London school of economics and political science (LSE) United Kingdom (UK).
Hon. Mr. Justice Christopher Sichimwa Mushabati – Commissioner
Justice Christopher Sichimwa Mushabati was appointed Commissioner at the Electoral Commission of Zambia on 8th November, 2012. Before he was appointed Commissioner, he was serving and still serving as a member of the Judicial Complaints Authority, to which he was appointed in April, 2011. He is a retired Supreme Court Judge who as High Court Judge served in the following stations; Mongu, Livingstone and Lusaka. In both stations he served as Judge In-charge. He further served on the Board of Council of Law reporting as a member. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree obtained from the University of Zambia in 1978. Prior to his joining the Judiciary as a Magistrate, he served as a Teacher from July 1962 to August, 1971 in Livingstone.
Dr. Emily Joy Sikazwe – Commissioner
Mrs. Priscilla Mulenga Isaac - Chief Electoral Officer
Mrs. Priscilla Mulenga Isaac joined the Commission in 2000 as Public Relations Officer and rose to the position of Deputy Director Elections and Voter Education in 2002. She held the position until December 2010 when she began acting as Director. She was appointed Director of Elections on 1st April 2011 (The Office of the Director of Elections was renamed to Chief Electoral Officer under section 9 of the Electoral Commission Act no. 25 of 2016). Mrs Isaac has a vast experience in election management having participated in the 2001 and 2006 tripartite elections as well as the 2008 Presidential Elections. She has also had the privilege to observe many elections in the SADC region and beyond. She holds a Bachelor of Psychology and Public Administration and a Degree in Law.
Mr. Chomba Chella - Director - Electoral Operations
Mr. Chomba Chella joined the Electoral Commission of Zambia in 2012 as Deputy Director – Elections (The Commission Re-designated the title of Deputy Director Elections to Director Electoral Operations in 2016).
The Elections Department has the responsibility to lead the strategic thrust of the operations (management and conduct of elections, staff training and deployment, materials, equipment distribution and other electoral logistics) of the Electoral Commission as approved by the Commission. As head of the Elections Department, he is responsible for the development and implementation of the Commission’s electoral operation’s strategies and programmes for the attainment of ECZ’s strategic objectives.
Eric Kamwi - Commission Secretary
Mr Eric Kamwi joined the ECZ in June 2001 just before that year’s tripartite election. He was appointed Assistant Legal Counsel, a position he held for a while and was later appointed Legal Counsel in 2002. He was Legal Counsel till 2010 when he was appointed Commission Secretary.
As Commission secretary, he heads the Legal Department and is in charge of the Legal and Secretary matters of the Commission. Mr Kamwi holds a Bachelors Degree in Law obtained from the University of Zambia and an MBA from Edith Cowan University of Australia.