The National Registration Bureau (NRB) has dislosed that over 100 000 people have registered during the first week of the ongoing National Registration and Identification System (NRIS) project.
In a statement madeavailable to Nyasa Times, NRB public Relations Officer, Norman Fulatira said they are impressed that the mass registration of Malawian citizens for national identification cards has started on a high note, with many eligible Malawians visiting centres to get registered.
“So far, over 100,000 Malawians have been registered in week one since the exercise started on May 24, a week earlier than expected. The bureau and all key stakeholders including the UN and key development partners are happy with progress made,” he said.
The bureau has also acknowledged challenges being experienced along the way.
“The bureau also acknowledges challenges so far met, including resignation of at least three staff due to personal reasons, which should be respected as a human right. The bureau has also noted challenges because of chilly weather in Mchinji and Ntchisi districts under phase one.
“In conjunction with stakeholders, the NRB is doing everything possible within limited resources to ensure that no eligible citizen is denied the opportunity to register because of these hiccups,” reads part of the statement signed by NRB spokesperson Norman Fulatira.
The statement further says the bureau and all key stakeholders, including the United Nations and key development partners, are happy with the progress made so far.
“NRB, therefore, encourages Malawians to appreciate that the Mass Registration Drive is a national initiative of government for the people and by the people of Malawi,” it adds.
Fulatira said the mass registration exercise is being conducted in five phases, with the first phase covering Kasungu, Ntchisi, Nkhota Kota, Mchinji, Dowa and Salima, coming to an end mid, July. A phase is between 14 and 25 days, depending on circumstances.
The NRIS project, which started last week, is a government project being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Government of Malawi, European Union (EU), UK Government, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Irish Aid, and United States Agency for International Development (Usaid).
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia has expressed concern over reports that some registration supervisors and officers are demanding high allowances against those agreed for the phase one of National Registration Bureau exercise.
“All the supervisors and officers who are doing the exercise were called for interviews, after the interviews, they were called for training, and during the training, we gave information to each and everyone regarding how much money will be received after the exercise,” Chiumia told Nyasa Times
Chiumia said it is out of malice to change tune and call for higher allowances.
“Those demanding higher allowances were free not to continue with the exercise, we could have replaced them with other patriotic citizens,” said Chiumia.
Commenting on reports that the money has been swindled at NRB, Chiumia said that is not true.
“The problem is that some people are just commenting without information. Malawi is contributing 40% of the resources and donors are contributing 60% towards the project and all resources are pulled into project account, as am talking to you all money is still there managed by UNDP,” said Chiumia.
Chiumia also said there are strong measures put in place to curb corruption.
In rural areas only chiefs have a say on who to register or not.
“In town one will have to prove that one is a Malawian by producing either voter’s ID, Driving Licence, and Passport,” said Chiumia.
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