Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo has announced that the National Registration, Passport and Citizenship offices (NRPC) in Lusaka will be closed to the public until further notice to avoid the spread of cholera.

Kampyongo says only travel emergencies will be attended to.

Meanwhile Kampyongo says drunkards who want to be in drinking places have to be compliant with the law enforcement agencies.

Kampyongo said at a press briefing on Tuesday that members of the public should not panic because it was a temporal move to allow for efforts to prevent the spread of cholera to be put in place.

“We have been guided to avoid, among other things, gatherings of not more than five people especially in Lusaka. Because this contributes to close contamination. The department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship in Lusaka attracts many people at the Passport and Citizenship office in the central business centre, the department headquarters at Kambendekela House and the district registration offices at the Boma offices. It is therefore important to protect the lives of our clients and officers from cross contamination and contracting the disease,” he said.

“My ministry is putting in place measures to ensure that we provide the much needed services to the people whilst avoiding the risk of spreading the disease. As these measures are being in put in place, the National Registration, Passport and Citizenship offices in Lusaka will be closed to members of the public until further notice. In the meantime, officers will only attend to travel emergencies. In short those that have emergency, urgent, unavoidable requirements for travel documents are the only clients that our passport officers will attend to. Otherwise any ordinary business will have to wait for further advice. Members of the public would be advised in the due course when the offices will reopen to the public.”

And Kampyongo said it was not true that police were victimising church goers.

“I want to clear the speculation that our officers have been victimising people in the churches. The interaction that we have with our church mother bodies is that the churches are collaborating very well with our law enforcement agencies. And our officers are being guided to ensure that during this difficult time they uphold professional ethics and they do their job professionally without infringing on any citizens rights,” said Kampyongo.

“All of us, including those drunkards who are trying to be defiant, who want to be in the drinking places, they have to be compliant. Otherwise if they want to be defiant then they will have themselves to blame because desperate situations call for desperate measures and this is one such situation.”