Mzimba — Civil Society Organizations network in Mzimba has expressed fear that the registration for the national identification might face apathy, saying the exercise has started abruptly without sensitizing the public.
Chairperson for the CSOs Network Joshua Hara said on Wednesday he was surprised to see registration staff being deployed in the fields yet people were not aware of the exercise on the ground.
"We got information that registration will start on 11th October  in Mzimba, but we are surprised to see people being deployed. This will affect the number of people that are going to register.
"Such information of change of dates was supposed to come through District Executive Committee [DEC] or through full council meeting so that all chiefs and councillors are available for easy communication to the public," Hara said.
He said as a national exercise, it was supposed to be given a priority for more sensitization before the activity commences.
District Civic Education Officer for Mzimba Cosmas Longwe said his office was also taken by surprise about the change of dates.
He said to ensure the information on the start of registration spreads in the district, his office (National Initiative for Civic Education) has used its volunteers to send communication to churches to alert people about the start of the exercise as the trust strategizes on sensitization.
In his response to claims of abrupt start of registration in Mzimba, spokesperson for National Registration Bureau Norman Fulatira downplayed the sentiments, saying what was good was that the exercise had started.
"It is actually good that the exercise has started. The office of NICE has been sub-granted funds meant for sensitization across the district to ensure all people are alerted," Fulatira said.