POLICE in Solwezi have recovered 584 green National registration cards (NRCs) from Senior Chief Musele, who has been keeping them for his subjects since 2008.
North-Western Province Police Commissioner Eugene Sibote said in an interview yesterday that the traditional leader has allegedly been asking his subjects to pay K50 or give him a chicken for them to get back their respective NRCs.
Mr Sibote said the chief has not been arrested but he surrendered the cards after being warned.
He said some concerned members of the public reported the matter to the police leading to the recovery of the NRCs.
“What we have here are 584 green national registration cards belonging to some people in Musele chiefdom which the chief has been keeping since 2008 and asking the owners to pay K50 or bring a chicken to have their identities back,” Mr Sibote said.
He said the cards came into the chief’s possession after the courts disposed of a case in which a local headman was challenging Senior Chief Musele. The headman had collected the NRCs to facilitate the removal of his chiefdom’s names from the cards.
“The background of this is that there is a headman called Lubango who collected the NRCs from the people so that he could remove Senior Chief Musele’s name because he was claiming that he was not the rightful chief as he is Lunda and cannot be a chief in a Kaonde area,” Mr Sibote said.
He said the cards will be given to the rightful owners next week so that they can participate in the January 20 presidential election.
Mr Sibote urged chiefs to obey the law, adding that it is a serious offence for any person to be found with more than one NRC.