The opposition UPND says the Ministry of Home Affairs is being insincere to stop stakeholders from monitoring the ongoing mobile issuance of National Registration Cards.
UPND Chairperson for Elections Gary Nkombo says there is no law in Zambia that stops anyone from monitoring such an exercise.
Mr Nkombo says it is shocking that the PF are now using the Ministry of Home Affairs to infringe on people’s rights to monitor an exercise that is critical to the country’s electoral process.
He says the UPND will go ahead and monitor the exercise in their quest to ensure that only people that have turned 16 years of age are issued with NRCs.
Mr Nkombo who is also Mazabuka Central UPND Member of Parliament says the Ministry of Home Affairs is already issuing NRCs to 14 years old people which is against the law and are stopping people from monitoring the exercise in order to cover up such illegalities.
Mr Nkombo said UPND Members are ready to be arrested and thrown in Jail for doing the right thing.
He said the UPND will not allow the PF to continue infringing on peoples rights.
Mr Nkombo said the monitoring of the exercise will also be done to ensure that no foreigner is issued with an NRC.
The Ministry of Home Affairs recently 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 said 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 said 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.