The inertia exhibited by the officers of the National Registration Cards issuance office is hampering the voter registration exercise, representatives of various political parties who attended a consultative meeting of the Kabwe district deployment plan for voter registration officers have observed.
Rainbow party Central Province chairman Kabwe Mulenga complained that the national registration office was inefficient and in turn was affecting the voter registration exercise.
He observed that the officers had deliberately developed a slow pace and negative attitude thereby frustrating the people who wanted to obtain registration cards and that they were also lacking in courtesy.
“We are concerned with the way registration officers treat mostly our colleagues from rural areas, these officers have deliberately created the system to be very slow and as a result it became potential recipe for corruption. They are also lacking in courtesy as at times they can just leave people on the queue and go for lunch,” he said, much to the agreement of other parties present.
But Kabwe district PF publicity secretary Bostin Mpende said that the observed inefficiency was due to the scrutiny exercise that was taking place because if the exercise was hurried, the same opposition parties would complain that foreigners were being issued with registration cards. Mr. Mpende called for members of the public to provide the registration officers with relevant particulars required.
There was no immediate reaction from the registration office as they were not in attendance but Kabwe Town Clerk who is also the district registration officer, Ronald Daka said that an invitation had been extended and he would have loved to hear from them.
The consultative meeting held at the Kabwe civic centre was attended by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), Zambia Police, MMD, UNIP, UPND, Rainbow Party, FDD and PF.
Meanwhile Mr. Daka has urged the district voter education committee to beef up campaigns to ensure that more people were captured during the extension period which runs from 22nd November to 13th December.
Mr. Daka expressed concern that some potential voters in some farming blocks were stopped from registration by their employers and said that there was need to engage the farmers and the workers so that they are captured.
And Mr. Daka said that in Central Province, Chibombo had recorded the highest number followed by Kapiri Mposhi and Kabwe in the third position. He however could not make the figures available during the meeting.