GEARS Initiative Zambia Executive Director McDonald Chipenzi has welcomed the launch of the phase one of the mobile issuance of the National Registration Cards in the targeted provinces namely Luapula, Northern, Eastern, Copperbelt and North-western provinces.
Mr Chipenzi says the exercise is coming at a time less than two months when the Electoral Commission of Zambia is also scheduled to commence the registration of voters on 18th October, 2020.
He has encouraged all Zambians of the age of 16 and above but without the document to exploit the opportunity availed to them to own one of the valuable assets in their lives.
“To this end, the law enforcement agencies and the traditional leadership must ensure that no foreigners are allowed to abuse this opportunity by them obtaining this national document for the purpose of elections or other uses”, said Mr Chipenzi.
He has called on all Zambians to remain extra vigilant especially along the border areas to ensure that no unqualified or undeserving characters obtain these documents at the expense of true Zambians.
“Therefore, if the target of 770, 000 people in phase one was to be attained, stakeholders such as the church, CSOs, media, the Ministry of Home Affairs through the Dept responsible, traditional leadership, political parties in the targeted provinces, must be involved in the provision of awareness programmes/activities and facilitating logistical support to easily access the services”, he said.
Mr Chipenzi has also called on the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that COVID measures are adhered to during this exercise to avoid endangering the lives of the citizens and the staff and ensure that masks are given to individuals who may not have them free of charge.
“However, we implore the Ministry to be more transparent and accountable in this exercise to avoid negative innuendos and disclose to the nation how much each phase will cost the treasury esp that the yellow book currently only shows a paltry K50 million allocated for the entire exercise in the 10 provinces with 116 districts”, he added.
Mr Chipenzi said his Organisation supports the initiative of the phased approach and pray that citizens will take advantage of it as these services are now bought closer to them.
He has further alerted the citizens and guardians that the issuance of these documents are ongoing in all provinces at the district level and so they may also utilize those avenues while waiting for the mobile exercise, to obtain the NRCs documents.