Malawi Government receives 1 Million personalised ID Cards from India

The National Registration Bureau (NRB) over the weekend received 1 Million Identification cards through the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA).

The cards were printed in India following the backlog following the capacity gap.

NRB Principal Secretary Mphatso Sambo says this is the first consignment of the pre- printed customised IDs.

This is exactly what the PS said at the Airport.

“We know we had problems with the printing of national ID cards. You are all aware we are very transparent. We announced that we are printing national identity cards offshore and the National ID cards have arrived. This is the first consignment of their pre printed customised national ID cards. We have received other other consignments especially for blank ID cards which we are using for personalization, but this one is special because it is the first consignment of the personalised national ID cards which were printed offshore,” says PS Sambo.

Sambo said NRB expects to distribute these cards to all the deserving Malawians in the next few weeks.

Sambo says NRB floated a tender through international competitive bidding procedure and the contract was identified, manufacturer was also identified through that tender.

He said in that tender there were three parts which include ; to deliver, to produce and deliver blank ID cards that should be used for personalization, but also to deliver consumables that should be used for printing of ID cards here in Malawi and lastly the contract was awarded for them to reprint and also to personalise ID cards for citizens as one way of clearing the backlog.

“As you know we had a backlog of ID cards which were not printed because of the capacity. We have enough equipment but we could not print all the cards at once. So looking forward we had to forecast that we need more ID cards to be printed before June 2024 and today we are happy that the consignment of those cards have arrived and we are happy that Malawians will have these cards is a physical assignment,” said Sambo.

Sambo described the consignment as so special because it was the first consignment of personalised ID cards.

According to the PS the cost of the cards was about $9 million.
“But this was not only for the blank cards or personalization of the cards. It involved the manufacturing of the cards, personalization and also the consumables and either deleted, access, ID card production and distribution including the ID card wallets, as well as other access lists,” He said.

President Lazarus Chakwera has already championed that citizens should access ID cards without problems.

He made sure that NRB remove the restriction of an expiry date on National ID cards.

Chakwera said the removal is aimed at preventing the risk of disenfranchising citizens from enjoying their right to vote.

“The Electoral Commission is working with the National Registration Bureau to remove the restriction of an expiry date on National ID cards, which will also save Government the billions that would be needed to renew the cards that have already expired over the past two years,” said Chakwera.

The national ID is used by Malawians for various puproses, including registering to vote in elections, banking , and all monetary issues.

Meanwhile Lilongwe business magnet Griffin Banda has since commended Malawi Government for airlifting in the country 1 million cards cards at once.

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