The Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security has announced it has secured K1. 5 billion as starter pack to school the citizenry on the process of getting national identity cards (IDs).
The Ministry says its department of National Registration Bureau (NRB) got the approval through the current parliamentary sitting of the 2015/2016 budget meeting.
In a statement, the Ministry says the allocation will be used by NRB to test procedures, training, logistical challenges as well as capacity issues.
Malawi government has signed a contract with Self SAS of France as the service provider who will supply and install equipment at the production centre for the printing of the cards, according to Norman Fulatira – the Ministry’s public relations officer.
Fulatira said that “only 5 000 Malawians have been targeted to enable NRB learn lessons from a smaller number before embarking on registering the rest of the population aged 16 and above.”
It is envisaged that after the initial phase, NRB will embark on the second phase of registering another 95 000 Malawians from other sectors of the population including the civil service.
“The rest of the adult population will be registered and issued with IDs in the mass migration phase where government and its development partners are expected to fund the process.
According to Nyasa Times sources, in the initial phase of issuance of eleven districts Lilongwe, Mchinji, Dowa, Salima, Blantyre, Chikhwawa, Thyolo, Mangochi, Chitipa, Mzimba and Nkhata Bay will be considered.
“In the registration process, applicants will be vetted to ensure they are bonafide citizens of Malawi,” said Fulatira.
Malawians have not had national identity cards since independence from Britain in 1964, a thing which have caused problems on a number of occasions including elections.