National Registration Bureau (NRB) offices in Karonga have been indefinitely closed after its officers were accused of siding with aspiring UTM Party candidate Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo by registering minors who are set to vote for him in the November 10 by-election.
On Tuesday, supporters—most minors— allegedly belonging to Mwenifumbo’s rival Leonard Mwalwanda of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) were ferried to Karonga NRB district offices where they demanded that they be registered.
According to MCP district chairperson, Emmanuel Nkhoma, the closure of the offices should be blamed on NRB officials in the district.
Nkhoma claims that the officials have been favoring UTM’s Mwenifumbo by allowing him to register minors from his fold.
Said Nkhoma: “Yes, we have forced the closure of the NRB office. Why should they register minors from the Mwenifumbo stronghold areas only? It is unacceptable. We have taken the matter to the relevant authorities.”
NRB officer for Karonga, Clement Chunga said “we decided to close the office in order to bring peace.”
Said Chunga: “We denied to register the ferried people after they failed to follow the officers’ advice to bring proper documentation from their traditional chiefs to prove their eligibility. We actually asked them to come tomorrow [Wednesday] so they could be assisted.”
Chunga admitted that the Bureau was being accused of favoring Mwenifumbo which “is untrue.”
But on Tuesday, MCP officials led by Nkhoma invaded the district NRB office and forced them to close it.
“We have referred the issue to the region. However, the development has affected our operations as it is denying others their right to register,” said Chunga.
Mwenifumbo on his part said he has not heard of any such development as he was busy on the ground and distanced himself from Nkhoma’s accusation that he was forcing minors to register.
Social commentator Jackson Msiska has since said Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should just stop the exercise and follow the system it used in the 2020 presidential elections where only voters who participated in the 2019 tripartite elections allowed to vote.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :