Malawians wishing to register in the mandatory national identification exercise at Likoma and Chizumulu islands in Nkhata Bay are facing problems as traditional leaders are refusing to identify their subjects unless they are paid allowances.
District commissioner for Nkhata Bay Charles Mawembe confirmed the incident and said the issue has since been reported to the National Registration Bureau (NRB).
The traditional leaders say it is unrealistic that they should be spending all day long for three weeks at registration centres without getting any money.
“We have left our productive lives, we expect something,” said one traditional leader who asked not to be named.
However, chief Mwase of the two islands claimed he had not yet heard anything on the matter.
National Registration Bureau spokesperson Norman Fulatira said this was the first time that the chiefs are demanding allowances for the job they are supposed to do for free.
“This is part of their job, they are not supposed to get money. We will not give them money because this is their job,” he said.
Fulatira said his organisation would discuss the issue with the district commissioner to ensure that the registration exercise is not interrupted