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Biometrics registration for Zambia’s new national ID system underway

Biometrics registration for Zambia’s new national ID system underway

Zambia’s parliament has been told that work to put in place a new biometric ID system dubbed the Integrated National Registration Information System (INRIS) has started, with the biometrics of at least 15,000 Zambians already captured for that purpose.

According to Zambia Daily Mail, parliament was informed during a recent briefing that the system, once effectively implemented, will ensure the production of ID cards with advanced security features.

The report quotes Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu as saying in a ministerial statement that biometric ID documents to be issued under the INRIS scheme include national registration cards, as well as birth and death certificates.

“The INRIS will assign a national identity number at birth as opposed to when a citizen is 16 years old. This will make it very difficult for any ineligible person to register as a Zambian citizen,” Mwiimbu said in the statement.

He added that the new biometrics-based ID system is intended to replace the old one which has been in place since 1965. The manual and paper-based system is said to have many vulnerabilities which make it easy for foreigners to register as Zambian citizens.

The new national biometric registry is expected to cost the government 1 billion Zambian kwacha (approximately US$54.8 million).

In 2020, the Chief Electoral Officer of the Electoral Commission of Zambia told the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation the body will build a new voter register based on the new ID system.

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