NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) national youth chairperson Charles Kabwita has called on the church and civil society to rise up and ensure that the issuance of NRCs is available to all and not just the preserve of the PF.

And Kabwita charged that PF’s announcement that it takes the issuance of NRCs a party program is the beginning of rigging.

In an interview, Kabwita said the careless talk by PF secretary general Davies Mwila, if not carefully handled, had the potential to divide the nation.

“It’s a pity that Davies Mwila has continued and insisted that the issuance of NRCs will be conducted as a PF program. However, you ought to be mindful Davies Mwila that not everyone is associated to the PF and other people do not even have interest to belong to political parties and if this is tolerated, the people who are not interested in politics will be disadvantaged from getting their NRCs which they are entitled to as Zambians. I therefore appeal to all well-meaning civil society, church and political parties to rise against this pronouncement by Davies Mwila and condemn this pronouncement in strongest terms. This is uncalled for and if not carefully handled, will divide the nation. Because look, if I am not PF and I do not have an NRC in my possession, it will be very difficult for me to obtain an NRC because from what Davies Mwila is saying, preference will be given to the members of the PF,” Kabwita said.

“Unfortunately, Zambians are so docile, if it were in other countries like South Africa, today as we are talking, people would have been on the streets and demonstrate against this careless talk by Davies Mwila, but anyway, we all understand who Mwila is. This is a man who managed to get a grade 12 certificate at 49 years old, so he is still learning. Now you need a lot of people who understand the operation of a government institution to lecture Mwila, since he is learning, so the PF has a huge task to lecture their secretary general.”

Kabwita asked Mwila to distinguish between government and party functionaries.

“It is unfortunate that the ruling party, as announced through its Secretary General Davies Mwila, that they will conduct voter registration as a party program, it is unfortunate that the secretary general of the ruling party does not distinguish government programs and party programs. I want to educate Mwila, being a secretary general has absolutely nothing to do with government functionalities. There is a distinction between government and a political party. The issuance of NRCs is conducted under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs has absolutely nothing to do with a political party in government. Davies Mwila’s power or control starts and ends within the Patriotic Front structures and its administration. This is a total abrogation of the rules of the issuance of NRCs and this is a beginning of rigging the 2021 elections,” said Kabwita.

“As Secretary General, his job is to ensure that all his structures are functioning according to the PF policy, not to direct government officers to give preference to the PF for them to have a lot of people can have NRCs and subsequently come and vote for then in 2021. This is partly the beginning of rigging of elections for 2021. I therefore appeal to all the youths in Zambia to come together so that we can speak with one voice and ensure that this corrupt regime in 2021 is removed. Already, I have seen vehicles branded with PF open vans, ferrying people from different parts of the district, taking them to the NRC issuance centre. I am in Luanshya right now and yesterday I witnessed this at a place where they are issuing NRCs. Two PF vehicles were ferrying people to go and register for their NRCs, this is very unhealthy to our young democracy.”