NAMWALA UPND member of parliament Moono Lubezhi has urged her fellow lawmakers and senior party officials to closely monitor the mobile process of issuance of national registration cards.
Meanwhile, Moono says UPND supporters should stop complaining about electoral results, from the comfort of their home, “when they don’t move out to go and campaign.”
On Saturday, home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo flagged-off the first phase of national registration cards (NRCs) issuance in Mwense district, Luapula Province.
On the same day, home affairs permanent secretary Masiye Banda flagged-off the exercise at Nyakutwa Primary School in Chipata district, Eastern Province.
This year’s NRC mobile exercise would be conducted in a two-phased approach of 40 days each.
Phase one would cover Luapula, Northern, North-Western, Copperbelt and Eastern provinces, while phase two would cover Western, Southern, Lusaka, Central and Muchinga provinces.
The first phase started on Saturday, August 1 and runs up to about September 10, 2020, while the second phase would start on September 1, 2020 to about October 10, 2020.
Lubezhi urged her fellow members of parliament to go full throttle in sensitising people to get NRCs.
She said sensitising eligible people to acquire NRCs was part of political mobilisation.
“There are already rumours that if the children who are being taken to get NRCs don’t have birth certificates, they won’t be issued with NRCs. PF should not be funny! They know very well that in certain rural areas, there aren’t even clinics and so where do they expect that mother to go and deliver from?” Lubezhi said. “16 years ago, most of these rural areas, there were no health facilities where a woman could deliver from and get a birth certificate. These 650 health posts which they are talking about were introduced only in 2011 and they haven’t even finished constructing them.”
She noted that most of the people wanting to obtain NRCs were born some 17 years ago and that it would be burdensome for many of them to produce birth certificates.
“The people who were born in these 650 health posts are not the ones we are getting NRCs for. So, they should look at it from that angle. PF should not be misled; for us in Namwala we are getting NRCs for those who are 16 years and above. The voting age is 18 years and above. So, why are they worried?” she asked. “The health sector is ‘non-existent’ in Zambia and then somebody is asking for documentation like a birth certificate which is supposed to be given out from there!”
Lubezhi tipped UPND members of parliament and party members, especially senior officials, “in areas where we don’t have MPs” to help qualified youngsters to be issued with NRCs.
“Can we please move in and see to it that these people who are being sent away that ‘you don’t have this documentation’ are given NRCs. Even a headman’s letter can work so that we get NRCs for our children,” she said. “An NRC is not just for voting; it is used for so many things. We use NRCs if one wants to open a bank account, if you want to register for FISP (Farmer Input Support Programme), we use NRCs when we want to bail out our colleagues who are being beaten by those in the PF, day-in day-out for no reason.”
The lawmaker emphasised that this time, “all of us must tilt our attention to NRCs.”
“Let us focus our attention on NRCs and the incoming by-elections. People should stop complaining from the comfort of their home, when they don’t move out to go and campaign. You can’t be insulting [the party] leadership! UPND is not about leadership; we are all flag-carriers of the UPND,” explained Lubezhi. “If you know that you are lazy and you don’t go out to campaign, don’t complain [about] whatever results we get. Be content with what we get because what we put in is what will come out.”