SELECTIVE NATIONAL REGISTRATION CARD ISSUANCE DISCRIMINATORY AND ABUSE OF POLITICAL POWER
By Fransico Mumba
Deliberate and selective giving of national Identities commonly referred to as national registration cards to citizens for the purpose of elections is a worst form of discrimination and abuse of political power by those charged with the responsibility. Media reports that there are secret areas in some parts of the country where national cards were given for the objective purpose of winning an election is not only a serious affront to good governance but also a negation to national development. The named political party must be de-registered because this act threatens our national security.
National Registration Act, CHAPTER 126 of the laws of Zambia provides for the registration of persons to which the Act applies. The importance of one holding a national registration card cannot be over emphasised. It is the bedrock to national social security.
Holding a national registration card is therefore of extreme necessity as it helps not only to access health and education services but also to obtain other important services such as a telephone line and a prerequisite to one’s opening a bank account.
Inability to have a national registration card also disable citizens from seeking employment or enter college and it may also results in failure for one to take up tertiary examinations.
Further, failure to have a national registration card could affects a citizen to exercise his democratic right to vote and worst still affects an individual’s right to freedom of movement as enshrined in our sacrosanct law.
An individual may be detained by a government officer for failing to produce an NRC upon demand when travelling on a public bus from one region to the other as per s.8 of National Registration Act.
It is the duty of government to ensure that all elligible citizens are provided with NRCs upon attaining the age of 16 years, the service that should be easily available in every district across the country.
This duty to issue NRCS to deserving individuals should not be exercised for the purpose of elections alone but rather continuous exercise and where applicable not selective and discriminatory.
Reports that some regions have been targeted because they are either strongholds or no go areas for a party in government is not only dangerous exercise but quite divisive.
The media reports that some regions are secretly been issued with NRCs because they are viewed as strongholds is not only unfortunate but rather an activity that threatens national peace and security and individuals responsible for this decision must be criminally sanctioned.
The service should be available to all citizens who legally qualify irrespective of the regions they hail from.
The decision is not only a gross violation of the people’s right but also an affront to our national Constitution.
If this matter is left unchecked will affect persons in some regions failing to access the health services, education and other NRCs dependent services but also deny them their democratically right to vote and select leaders of their choice into government