SOME incensed residents in Mpongwe District on Friday confiscated voter registration equipment, causing confusion.
Chief Mwinuna, in whose chiefdom the incident occurred, was summoned by the Police over the matter on suspicion that he had incited his subjects to confiscate the voter registration material.
Chief Mwinuna said he had no hand in the confiscation of the equipment as he was nursing his sick wife on Sunday.
“I don’t know what happened last Sunday because I was nursing my sick wife and I was surprised when the Police came telling me that I had a hand in the loss of the voter registration equipment,” he said
Chief Mwinuna said in an interview that he was not happy with the way the Police dragged him to the station to make a statement on a matter he did not know.
“I was not happy with the way the Police took me to the Police station, I was dragged behind an open van car like a criminal to go and make a statement on a matter I had no hand in,” he said
He said he was informed by the Police that the people that were to conduct the voter registration exercise did not follow the right procedure of registering their presence at his palace which made the people annoyed and confiscated the equipment.
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“I was informed by the Police that the people who were to conduct the voter registration exercise did not follow the right procedure of registering their presence at my palace so some of my subjects advised them to come to my palace and they refused. My subjects opted to confiscate the equipment an act I was not aware of,” he said.
Chief Mwinuna said he was threatened by Police to be arrested if the equipment was not found.
Lamba-Lima Royal Council of Chiefs chairperson Senior Chief Chiwala of Masaiti District said in an interview that the people of Mpongwe District were not happy to be registered under Ngabwe District which is in Central Province, instead of Mpongwe District.
“It is very wrong and sad for the Police to threaten Chief Mwinuna to be arrested if the equipment is not recovered and as the Royal Council, we will not condone it,” he said
In another development, the lack of sensitisation on the ongoing mobile National Registration Card and voters card exercise is hampering the programme in Kafue District.
A check by Sunday Times in Kafue at Zambia National Service (ZNS) on Fridayfound a winding queue of panicking people seeking to be registered as they were told that it was the last day of the exercise.
Some complained of not being adequately informed about the exercise and that the days allocated for a single centre were too few against the huge population that wanted to register and that more days should have been added.
Josephine Jere said she was turned away on account that she was 25 years old, a reason she deemed unfair.
However, Home Affairs spokesperson Moses Suwali said there had been a lot of sensitisation on the exercise on both television and radio.
Mr Suwali, however, admitted that the ministry had not yet devised a programme on informing residents on the shifting of centres and that the process was underway.
Times of Zambia