Malawi ID registration ‘cameras fail’ to take picture for Ntchisi man

As the mass registration of national Identity cards started in Ntchisi last week, state of the art electronic cameras failed to pick a face of one old man at Mpherere Primary School centre to the surprise of the National Registration Bureau (NRB) officers.

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Isaac Mnduwila, who is also a village headman, expressed worry over the cameras’ failure to take his pictures.

“I came at this centre early in the morning to register for my ID, but the cameras can’t take my pictures. I don’t know what could be the problem. Everyone is able to get his pictures taken,” he said.

The man, in his 80s, who tried several times with two different cameras but could not work, said he is worried that his dignity could be affected in his community as people might think he is a wizard.

Asked if he has ever used charms to protect his body, the old man admitted, saying being a chief required him to protect himself but not deterring cameras to take his photos.

“I have other IDS with pictures but I don’t know what’s happening this time around. If it’s charms on my body then it could be my parents who did that, not me. I will come again tomorrow to try. I want to get registered by all means,” said Mnduwila.

The Assistant District Registrar Jemitter Mwale said it was surprising that the cameras cannot capture the man when there are working for everyone else. He said he would refer the man to other centres to assist him failing which they will call for technical assistance from Lilongwe.

“He said he will come back and if it fails then it will be taken to our technical team in Lilongwe. I don’t know what is wrong with him. But we will keep trying,” Mwale said.

But when this reporter tried to take the man’s picture using an ipad, it was possible and the old man was happy seeing his face on the gadget.

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Munthu wankulu iyeyo ndi camera payekha


Ntchisi siidzatheka ndithu

Dambudzo Mwasanya

Kuchitekete…Ndiye Ntchisiyo…


It is not the operators problem or the man,it has just happened.Next time it shall work out.


Facial recogniton software is not foolproof and must sometimes be bypassed. The state of the art registration software allows for this and if the NRB operator used this feature, the picture would have been captured. This information will be emphasized once again to the central support team.


Common sense should tell us that the problem is with the cameras or the operators, not the person whose picture is to be taken. Malawians are still leaving in the dark ages to associate the failure of the cameras with witchcraft. The reporter of the story confirms that his iPad captured the man’s photograph. It was not not a story worth reporting.


So what? Why to use the same iPad and transfer the picture into the system


achalume!!!!!! kuchitekete!!!!!!

bwana wankulu

maybe he is too old. state of the art technology cant track those born before 1945




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