President Peter Mutharika will on Wednesday launch national identity cards (IDs) project to address the challenges Malawians have long faced due to the absence of the documents.
Malawi is the only country in southern Africa without such IDs for its citizens.
The President, who returned home Sunday after a weeks-long visit to the United States that sparked rumours over his health, will launch the project
at the Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
During the launch, a symbolic presentation of the national identity cards to President Mutharika, the First Lady, Vice president Saulos Chilima and his wife among others will be done, according to government statement.
The launch of IDs project by Mutharika willocool off rumours of the president’s ill health which continued with his return when used his left hand to wave to a crowd of supporters and to shake hands with officials.
More speculation among Malawians continued with other spreading information that Mutharika would be flown out of the country for treatment.
But government says “sickening rumours” are appalling.
The ID’s project is a milestone of the Mutharika government as Malawians currently use driving licenses, passports, and in some cases voter registration certificates as proof of their citizenship in places and institutions where identification is needed.
Those who don’t have such documents are asked to bring any person with a passport or driving license to be a witness.
Malawians who cannot fulfill such requiremenrts cannot get assistance in places like commercial banks and money lending institutions.
Health authorities say the absence of national IDs is putting strain on medical resources because foreigners come to take advantage of free medical services in public hospitals, particularly in border districts.
Campaigners against child trafficking also say lack of identification is contributing to an increase in trafficking cases.
Malawi’s government introduced the National Registration Bureau in 2007 to oversee the process of issuing national identity documents.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :