The Ministry of Home Affairs has warned some Organisations that have given themselves the task to monitor the recently launched National Mobile Registration exercise, to disband their groups and give space to the deployed officers to carry out the national exercise.
Ministry spokesperson Nephas Chifuta says the Mobile Registration exercise is an ordinary operation of the Ministry of Home Affairs, under the Department of National Registration Passport and Citizenship and does not call for external monitoring by any other organisation.
Mr Chifuta says the Ministry of Home Affairs has its own internal system to appraise the exercise and has a mechanism to identify and revisit areas where issuance of identity cards should be enhanced or repeated.
He said the Ministry shall not tolerate any interference in the operations of the on-going Mobile Registration exercise and any person or organisation who will be found obstructing Registration officers shall be arrested and charged accordingly.
Mr Chifuta said there is no organisation that has been accredited by the Ministry of Home Affairs to carry out the monitoring exercise.
He said Police officers deployed in all registration centres are therefore, directed to deal firmly with any form of intimidation or interference from any person or organisation purporting to be accredited monitors for the exercise.
Mr Chifuta has appealed to all the stakeholders to encourage children who have attained the age of 16 and above to obtain the National Registration Cards and those whose National Registration Cards need replacement should be encouraged also to appear before registration officers whilst they are in the area.
He said the registration officers shall not be selective of who should be issued with the identity cards, however, the only requirement is to meet the required age.
Mr Chifuta said those without birth certificates or Under Five Clinic Cards are also encouraged to obtain the National Registration Cards, as long as one is able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that he/she has attained the required age.
And Mr Chifuta said the Ministry is disappointed by the intimidating behaviour and interference being orchestrated by some Members of Parliament in North Western Province who stormed a registration centre and asked Registration officers unnecessary questions.
He said the Parliamentarian was accompanied by a large group of cadres from a known opposition political party, who illegally took photographs of the Registration officers.
“Furthermore, the Ministry wishes to correct the misinformation circulating in some sections of the media that Government has not paid Registration officers who participated in the 2015 Mobile Registration”, he added.
Mr Chifuta said the exact position is that Government has paid all the officers that took part in the exercise from North- Western and Luapula provinces.
He said Government has also cleared a large number of officers from the Copperbelt Province and has only remained with about 207 officers who could not be cleared due to some technical challenges and change of bank accounts.
“We appeal to the source of the misleading information to always consult the Ministry of Home Affairs before issuing public statements to avoid misleading the general public”, he added.