[By Chambwa Moonga in Dundumwezi]
DUNDUMWEZI residents are “kindly” asking the government to render any help that will ease their mode of collecting national registration cards.
About seven residents spoken to by The Mast on Wednesday in Dundumwezi Constituency, Kalomo district, ‘cried’ that the government must help them to be issued with national registration cards (NRCs).
In the August 11, 2016 general elections, Dundumwezi residents famed themselves after only 252, out of the thousands rest of opposition voters, cast for President Edgar Lungu.
Amplifying the residents’ voice, Laurent Hanongo, who is senior headman Womba within Chikanta chiefdom, reiterated that there was a serious problem because: “many children in the villages which are under me don’t have NRCs.”
“In most cases, even some adults don’t have NRCs. When an election comes, many people won’t vote because they don’t have NRCs. People are supposed to travel to Kalomo town to go and get NRCs but many families are financially struggling; they can’t find transport means for their children to go to Kalomo town,” Hanongo complained.
He also explained that people in his villages could not even wait for the mobile registration exercise for NRCs to start because: “that one is so selective.”
“They will come here and say ‘we are just issuing 100 NRCs at this particular polling station.’ But you will find that people who are in need of NRCs at that polling station are between 500 to 1,000. So, how do you issue only 100? Can you imagine that kind of thinking!” Hanongo said.
The traditional leader pointed out that those without NRCs, from seven villages under him, had been quantified.
“As I speak to you, we collected all the names of people without NRCs in the seven villages which fall under my jurisdiction. They are 3, 892. These people are residents of Womba, Saasa, Lyangunduma, Luumuno, Moono, Hamiyanze and Choongo villages,” he said.
“We are extremely concerned at how we can transport all these people to go to Kalomo town for them to be issued with NRCs.”
Hanongo added that what was complicating the situation, in terms of transport costs to Kalomo town, was that almost all households in Dundumwezi were ravaged by hunger.
“People are looking for money to buy rationed amounts of mealie-meal, to buy fertiliser and also to pay school fees next week,” noted Hanongo.
“So, it’s very difficult to raise transport money for a child who wants to go and have an NRC. We are asking the government to kindly help us in any way.”