Inkosi Mponela of Dowa has asked the National Registration Bureau [NRB] to provide other available services readily to the poor rather than inviting them to its offices for Identity Cards renewal at the boma.
Chief Mponela said Dowa district is very vast hence posing a great challenge for the rural communities to travel to and fro Dowa boma just for Identity Card services citing the poor communities of Ngala, Chisepo and Matekenya that would opt to stay home.
He said he would have loved if the NRB arranges days to visit the rural communities assembled at one place for IDs processing saying it is possible for chiefs to mobilize their subjects and not punishing the poor to travel to the Dowa boma.
Speaking during an extra-ordinary full council meeting at the Dowa boma, Inkosi Mponela claimed that some individual ID Cards have been expired which will pose a challenge to the beneficiaries to be registered for Affordable Input Program [AIP], saying without an ID there is no access to other essential services hence a great need to think of the poor.
Member of Parliament for Dowa Ngala constituency, Hon. Arthur Sungitsa, expressed fears that many who have no IDs in the district would find themselves not being registered as beneficiaries to other services not because of their wish.
…”The poor cannot travel to the Dowa boma for just an ID and pay K2,500 on top of what they have paid for transport, this must be looked at now, farmers are harvesting their produces for marketing, surely, many will pay NRB for IDs in their respective areas…,’’ lamented Hon. Sungitsa.
In her response, District NRB Officer for Dowa, Malla Zimba, said her office is all aware of the concerns raised as genuine saying the challenge could be three offices involved leaving the headquarters to register beneficiaries in rural areas saying that alone, would be a great challenge.
Zimba said officers available are responsible for answering to issues and not only IDs for people seeking other services, calling chiefs to establish how many have the cash and inform the office to make an arrangement to process the IDs expressing fears that going to villages without knowing the number who have funds for the IDs would be a challenge.
Meanwhile, Inkosi Mponela and Dowa North Constituency legislator, Hon. Enos Chitatanga, have reported to the NRB in the district that their officer at Mponela must be transferred elsewhere as most of the days, he is unavailable making those wanting services to back home without receiving assistances.
By Vincent Gunde