A stern warning has been sent to residents of northern border district of Karonga to desist from aiding foreigners to register as Malawi citizens in the ongoing National Identification registration exercise or risk an arrest.
Karonga receives many foreigners including Rwandans, Ethiopians, Burundians, Somalis and Congolese as asylum seekers but many of them bribe the residents for special favors.
Civil Education Officer for National Initiative for Civic Education, Christabel Shaba, observed that many people in the district have a tendency of assisting foreigners “to get things they don’t deserve”.
Shaba said helping a foreigner to register for a national identity card is an offense punishable by 5 years imprisonment with hard labour or pay a fine of MK1 million.
“This mass registration is only for bonified Malawians and people must know this. Infact, every Malawi citizen especially, those with 16 years and above are required by law to register,” she said.
She said the national IDs would help people to have easy access to health services and education among others.
Senior Chief Mwilang’ombe asked chiefs in the district to reunite and fight against the tendency.
“It’s sad that some Malawians love money more than their country and if this doesn’t stop, foreigners will take our land and will become destitute in our own country,” he said.
The National Registration Bureau officials say they expect to register about 192,000 people in the lakeshore district.