17 July 2017

Malawi: Minister Chiumia Clears Mist On National ID Registration - 'Not for Elections Rigging'

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia, has clarified misconceptions surrounding the ongoing mass registration exercise regarding the National Identification Card Program.

Word on the street, especially among opposition political parties, is that government wants to use the identity cards to rig the 2019 general elections.

Chiumia was speaking in Blantyre on Saturday when she presided over an interface meeting with members of Blantyre Press Club (BPC) organised by the National Registration Bureau (NRB) to orient journalists on the ongoing mass registration exercise, said the cards are rather meant to identify eligible Malawians to participate in all aspects of national development.

"I am impressed with the way many Malawians are patronizing the registration centres which is a good move to the success of the exercise. However, I must clarify that these cards are not, in anyway meant to rig the 2019 elections as some sectors of society are speculating," she said.

According to Chiumia, tight security measures have also been instituted to combat any malpractice that may interfere with the exercise.

"Among other security measures, we are encouraging people to bring authentic identification and if they do not have valid identification documents, they should make sure that they provide at least two witnesses. This is important, since registration officers will be assured that they have registered only eligible Malawians," she said.

he third phase of the exercise which started on July 13 is currently being implemented in seven districts including Mulanje.

The last phase of the mass registration exercise is expected to end in November this year, according to Nation Registration Bureau Public Relations Officer (PRO) Norman Fulatira.

Fulatira added that NRB will soon deploy machines in all major hospitals to register newly born babies as part of the exercise.

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