Govt finally pays some election registration officers

Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo says government has set aside K18 million out of the K36 million it owes officers who participated in phase three of the mobile insurance of National Registration Cards conducted prior to the August 2016 elections.

Speaking at a media briefing today, Kampyongo said government, through the department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship would soon make arrangements to pay the remaining amount to the affected officers.

“You may be aware that my Ministry through the National Registration, Passports and Citizenship department conducted the mobile issuance of registration cards in the run up to August 2016 Presidential and general elections. This exercise was conducted in three phases. The first phase was conducted from 1st May to 31st July 2015 and covered Muchinga, Central and Northern Provinces. All allowances for our officers who participated in this phase were paid in full. Phase two was conducted from the 4th of September to 4th December, 2015 and covered Lusaka, Southern, Eastern and Western Provinces and allowances for our officers who participated in this phase were paid in full,” Kampyongo said.

“Phase three was conducted from 1st November, 2015 to 31st January, 2016. This phase covered Luapula, Copperbelt and North Western Provinces and like other phases, it lasted for a period of 90 days. Our officers who participated in phase three of the exercise where only paid for a period of 30 days in the year 2015 out of the total 90 days which they had worked and this means that at the end of the exercise my Ministry was owing a total of 60 days to each of the officers who participated in the last phase. As you may recall, due to budget constraints as was announced in Parliament last year, my Ministry was unable to meet the cost of paying outstanding allowances for the remaining 60 days to the officers who participated in phase three. I am therefore pleased to announce that my Ministry has set aside funds amounting to K18 million to pay officers who participated in this phase for a total of 30 days out of the 60 days owed to them.”

Kampyongo assured the rest of the affected officers that government would soon clear the debt.

“I wish to reiterate the commitment to paying the remaining 30 days we still owe our hard working officers as soon as funds were set aside for this purpose and this will be soon. The department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship shall therefore immediately begin making arrangements to pay the remaining allowances for the remaining 30 days to all our officers who participated in phase three of the mobile issuance of National registration cards. May also take this opportunity to dispel speculations that government will not pay the outstanding allowances to the officers, our officers worked for this money and indeed it belongs to them. I would therefore like to assure our officers that the money due to them shall be paid in full as soon as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kampyongo said the lives of the two police officers from the flying squad (C5) who were gunned down by criminals in Ndola yesterday after an exchange of fire would not go in vain.

“It’s a sad day for us as a Ministry and I would like you to allow me on behalf of his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of our two gallant detective Sergents, Ben Chilubula and Francis Kunda. These our officers who lost their lives in course of duty yesterday in Ndola. We pray for God’s guidance and comfort at this difficult time for the families and indeed the Zambia police service as a whole. Our slain officers shall never be forgotten and their lives will not go in vain,” Kampyong said.

“What is unfortunate is that these officers who died on course of duty were responding to robbery, aggravated robbery where huge sums of money was stolen from a business entity which had done sales throughout the long weekend and I don’t want to go so much into those details because police are investigating these matters but our general view is just to show you how much our officers stake up their lives just protect you and your property and therefore they deserve support from all of us as citizens.”

And the Minister also urged police officers to support one another regardless of their different portfolios.

“May I also take this opportunity to call on our officers to close ranks and support each other both on and off duty. As security officers, we know that you are always on duty. I must also categorically say that the Zambia Police Service must win this battle that the criminals have waged and I would just like to say that we are not going to allow a situation where criminal elements become victors, they will certainly not be victors,” said Kampyongo.

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