TRADITIONAL leaders in Mweemba chiefdom of Sinazongwe district have petitioned the government over the omission of two wards in their area by the mobile national registration issuance team.
Delivering their petition to authorities in the area on Monday, senior headman Matambo said it was heartbreaking that the country was still failing to give equal treatment to its people living in rural areas.
“We are petitioning government over the omission of two wards, namely Mabinga and Mweenda in Mweemba chiefdom, in the ongoing mobile national registration issuance exercises. According to the guidelines, we know is that this process was supposed to be undertaken for six days per ward in each constituency but here in Sinazongwe, out of the total 16 wards only 14 have been successfully covered and since the exercise is supposed to come to an end on 30 October, it means that these two wards won’t be covered and they are the furthest in the entire district,” he said.
Matambo complained that it was wrong for the government to continue sidelining people in rural areas from programmes of national importance.
“Why is it that us in rural areas are not considered as human beings? Our places are the furthest in the entire district and we were supposed to be considered first, especially that the boma is very far such that without such exercises people would not manage to get NRCs,” said Matambo. “It’s not possible to get an NRC in one day and then how do they expect our people to cover long distances of more than 150 kilometres to the boma to get NRCs?”
And headman Siampondo said every government was expected to ensure its people were given NRCs without difficulties.
“The situation is worrying as to whether we are regarded as Zambians or not. We have people here that have reached the age of 30 years without an NRC because the boma is very far and now what could have been the best opportunity for them to acquire NRCs is almost sliding out of their hands,” said Siampondo.
Meanwhile, headman Sianzovu appealed to the government to consider extending the mobile issuance of NRCs exercise so as not to deny more citizens an opportunity to acquire the documents.
He appealed to the government to prioritise rural areas in such ventures, saying they were faced with numerous challenges.
“We are poor people who can’t afford to ferry our children to the boma and it’s important to us to look after subjects that we know have NRCs because in an event of anything, we can easily identify them,” said Sianzovu.
Headman Mayobo complained that subjects were failing to get jobs from Chinese companies because they had no NRCs.
And Mabinga ward councillor Moses Chipaya appealed to the government to direct the mobile NRC issuance team to cover the two omitted wards for at least three days.
When contacted for a comment, Southern Province permanent secretary Mwangala Liomba promised to engage the district administration in Sinazongwe over the matter.
“We still have few days remaining and so we can’t really conclude that the two said wards have been omitted. However, I will engage the district administration in the area to find out about this issue,” said Liomba.