NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
THE Ministry of Home Affairs has issued national registration cards (NRCs) to 103,802 citizens in Northern, Muchinga and Central provinces through the ongoing mobile issuance of the identity cards.
And the ministry has suspended the K50 fee for a police report, which citizens are required to pay for loss of NRCs in the three regions where the mobile issuance of the identity documents is active.
Ministry of Home Affairs head of public relations Moses Suwali said the statistics are as at last Sunday, which is exactly one month since the commencement of the exercise.
â€œThis means that the number of registered people has increased by about 43,000 from last weekâ€™s statistics in which 60,805 people were captured,â€ Mr Suwali said.
He said in response to a press query yesterday that Central Province has registered 40,575 people while Northern and Muchinga provinces have captured 32,781 and 30,446 people, respectively.
Mr Suwali attributed the sharp increase in the number of registered people to the heightened sensitisation in the three provinces.
â€œSo far, the turnout is quite inspiring and we have continued to sensitise more people so that they acquire NRCs as this would enable eligible voters to vote in the 2016 tripartite elections as well as participate in the affairs of the country,â€ Mr Suwali said.
He stated that the numbers are expected to keep on increasing because officers are now closing in on highly-populated areas and remote ones where the population is relatively low.
â€œLooking at the trend, we expect to beat the target of 245,000 as our officers are now coming closer to densely-populated areas and we are remaining with two more months,â€ Mr Suwali said.
He thanked members of Parliament, traditional leaders,Â civic leaders, the media and all Zambians for helping in information dissemination regarding the exercise.
And Mr Suwali says the Ministry of Home Affairs has suspended the K50 fee for the police report, which people are required to pay for loss of NRCs in the three provinces where the mobile registration exercise is active.
He said Ministry of Home Affairs permanent secretary Chileshe Mulenga has written to Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani on the decision to suspend the police report fees so as to ease and support the mobile registration process for those who have lost their cards.
â€œThis follows concerns received from members of the society in provinces where the mobile registration of NRCs is currently ongoing to the effect that that they were unable to register and acquire their NRCs because of the requirement to pay K50,â€ Mr Suwali said.
The mobile registration exercise in the three provinces under phase one is scheduled to end on July 31.
Phase two will cover Western, Eastern, Lusaka and Southern provinces while phase three will cover North-Western, Luapula and Copperbelt provinces.
NANCY SIAME, Lusaka