Issuance of NRCs in Zambezi worries FODEP

If reports of issuance of National Registration cards (NRC) in Zambezi district to former Angola Refugees by the Ministry of Homes Affairs are true, then the exercise is likely to cause electoral conflicts ahead of the by-elections in Zambezi West Constituency, says Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi.

He has demanded for the suspension of the exercise to avoid electoral conflict in the district.

Mr Chipenzi was reacting to reports that the government had started issuing NRCs to Angolan refugees based in Zambezi district of Western province.

He said he was concerned about the Ministry of Home Affairs’s decision to issue NRCs in Zambezi where a by-election was due.

Mr Chipenzi said government should consider conducting the registration exercise after the by elections to avoid unnecessary confrontation and misunderstanding among politicians.

“The ministry can start the exercise after the elections to avoid disturbances during the by elections,” he said.

And Mr Chipenzi said his organisation would continue to monitor all the September 11 parliamentary by-elections in Mkushi South, Solwezi Central, Zambezi West, Vubwi and Kasenengwa.

According to information obtained by the Daily Nation in Zambezi at the weekend, the issuance of NRCs was expected to commence yesterday.

One of the officers from the National Registration Office assigned to carry out the registration exercise confirmed this in Zambezi.

“We are from Home Affairs in Lusaka. We came in last night, we came to issue NRCs to Angolan refugees because they are no longer refugees, and they are all Zambians. Once, we finish we will go back, maybe on Friday,” he said.