HOME Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo has announced that the mobile registration exercise will commence in August to October this year, adding that the ministry has projected to issue approximately 1.5 million new National Registration Cards (NRCs).
Rendering a Ministerial statement on the 2020-2021 Mobile Issuance of NRCs in Parliament, Friday, Kampyongo reported that 748,818 NRCs were issued to eligible Zambians for the period 2016 to 2019 through routine national registration.
“The Ministry, through the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship, conducts routine continuous registration of citizens in all districts across the country. I am pleased to report that the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship for the period 2016 to 2019 managed to issue 748,818 National Registration Cards to eligible Zambians through routine national registration in accordance with the National Registration Act Cap 126 of the laws of Zambia,” Kampyongo said.
He told the House that his Ministry had planned to commence mobile issuance of NRCs in the second quarter of this year, but added that due to COVID-19, the mobile registration exercise would only commence next month.
He explained that the exercise was intended to increase coverage and reach out to citizens, who lived in far-flung areas.
“Let me inform the nation, through this August House, that the Ministry of Home Affairs had planned to commence mobile issuance of National Registration Cards in the second quarter of 2020. However, due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the commencement of the mobile registration exercise will only commence in August, 2020 to October, 2020, following the timely release of funds by Treasury,” Kampyongo said.
“Mr Speaker, also considering the geographical landscape of some districts where some areas, due to harsh climatic conditions like floods, make mobility a challenge, including the lack of resources to travel to established National Registration offices in order to obtain National Registration Cards, the government sees mobile registration as a very important exercise that needs to be undertaken, especially for those aged 18 and above, who would like to exercise their democratic right to vote in the upcoming 2021 general election. Therefore, this exercise is intended to increase coverage and reach out to our citizens who live-in far-flung areas.”
And Kampyongo explained that the 2020 mobile registration exercise would be conducted in a two-phased approach of 40 days each, adding that the Ministry had projected to issue approximately 1.5 new NRCs.
“The 2020 mobile registration exercise will be conducted in a two-phased approach of 40 days each due mostly to the time constraints. These phases will cover the whole country as follows: (a) phase one will cover Luapula, Northern, North-Western, Copperbelt and Eastern provinces; (b) phase two will cover Western, Southern, Lusaka, Central and Muchinga provinces, respectively. The Ministry has made projections to issue approximately 1,500,000 NRCs during the 2020 mobile registration exercise; 770,000 in phase one and 730,000 in phase two,” he explained.
Asked by Mwembeshi Independent member of parliament Machila Jamba on whether government would manage to capture their projected 1.5 million target in 40 days, Kampyongo said government remained confident that the projected target would be captured in the stipulated period.
“I did indicate that the mobile registration exercise will be done in two phases, and 40 days is for each phase. The first phase, which will commence on August 1 will run up to September 9 [or] 10; the second phase will run from September 1 to October 10. We are confident that this projected number will be captured in the period that will be apportioned to the exercise,” replied Kampyongo.