National IDs registration exercise under threat: Officers resign over poor pay, working conditions

National IDs registration exercise in under threat following disagreements between National Registration Bureau (NRB)  and  employees, who are protesting against what they call meager salaries and poor working conditions.

Being photographed for ID .-Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

This has raised concern over security during the exercise as commentators point out that the workers may accept bribes to issue identity cards to foreigners to compensate for their benefits.

Nyasa  Times has established that  30 registration officers have pulled off, while  Some supervisors were forced to sign leave letter because their Registration officers were not coming forth.

One employee, who spoke on condition of aninomity told Nyasa Times on Tuesday that  Supervisors and registration officers are sleeping in unsecure classes with the responsibility to take  care for the registration equipment which is worth millions.

“As l am talking to you  Officers are forced to walk by foot for distances of over 15 kilometers to and from registration centers. This is barbaric and a lot  of people are ready to resign if the conditions do not improve,” he warned.

He said the whole saga  started when  bureau promised to give them  K150,000 and K120,000 for supervisors and registration officers respectively.

“As  supervisor we argued with them that the amount was too small to carter for food, transport, accommodation and other contingencies. Operating away from home with that amount without any field allowance was as good as condemning us to death. But as it was expected, the bosses refused to back off.

“We told them that the activity which they hired us for, was a noble cause and carried a great importance to this country as such it was very important that the workers be given a motivating remuneration. As opposed to any sound reasoning presented they held on to their grounds. We then warned them that the work risk being abandoned or sabotaged or at least the work will be substandard. No later than two weeks has our fears been confirmed,” he said.

Nyasa Times understand that these supervisors for the exercise  signed  contracts of K150,000 before tax while officers  were promised a K120,000 every three-weeks or a month period.

An inside source at NRB told Nyasa Times  that some officers at NRB  squandered money which was meant for the exercise, hence the move to offer meager  wages.

Some disgruntled bosses at NRB have also reached at an extent of challenging these employees to leave if they are not happy with the wages.

“When we wrote  NRB, they promised to look into the matter, saying we had a reasonable case but from nowhere the response has changed. They say if we are not ready to work, we can leave,” one of the  supervisors said.

One Supervisor also warned that  what NRB bosses are doing  can easily  jeopardize the whole exercise.

“What if a foreigner  comes to me with K1 million, I certainly will issue an ID for him because I am not satisfied with my salary. As a concerned person, I feel the project has taken advantage of high unemployment rate in the country to exploit the poor. If this issue will not be addressed l can challenge you that the process will be doomed ,” he said.

National Registration Bureau (NRB) spokesperson, Norman Fulatira, however told The Daily Times a few weeks ago that  the recruitment and welfare of temporary registration staff is in the hands of consultants.

Meanwhile, phase one of the national ID mass registration was inaugurated a week ago  at Mchinji Hall and Mzura Primary School sites in the district.

However, Nyasa Times can confirm that different stakeholders are holding a crisis meeting at to map the way forward on this issue.

This exercise is being sponsored by different donors like UNDP, UK aid, Irish aid, European Union, USAID and the Malawi Government.


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7 years ago

Why did you apply for the job? Simunawerenge mmanyuzi muja malipilo ake? I have a BSc koma ndimangoweta nkhumba until I find a well paying job. K120 000/month komanso ku field, chamba eti???

7 years ago

Just do honest recruitment. You will get people who will work for that salary / enumeration.

7 years ago

Five quick questions and some moree
1). What did you sign for?
2) Who recruited who and with whom did you sign your contracts
3) Who is paying who?
4)Where did you expect to get registrants?… not in a hotel suite of course
5) Who are you?…i presume not an officer in some department and assigned to an exercise outside your duty station…
6) … and NRB (Govt of Malawi) did What?

7 years ago

vindele rate yanji imeneyi

7 years ago

kodi these guys are permanent or what??? i think thney dont know salary levels in government. amene akufuna asiye give this to NSO it will be done

7 years ago

A boma inu musapange dala kuti mavuto polingalira kuti anthu achigawo chapakati atsalembetse anthu ambiri kamba ka mavote mu 2019 mukufuna akabwera kuchigawo cha kumwera azalembetse ambiri ndi pamene muzakonze vutoli chonde a boma thetsani vutoli mutsapange ndale apa.Malawi si vote Malawi ndi dziko ndi anthu ake.

7 years ago

Whilst these Officers are entitled to their grievances, it’s so disturbing to hear from one of them suggesting that they can resort to accepting bribes from Foriegners for IDs to compensate for their shortfalls. This is the scary part of the process regardless of whether the dispute is resolved ;that if this process is not brought to scrutiny,many Foriegners will get Malawi IDs. I registered on the first day of the process in Mchinji and my impression is that it is just very easy to register Foriegners into the system. People straggled to answer the questionnaire, giving false information like… Read more »

7 years ago

After all the trainings and everything you decide to resign? Didn’t you know the condition of service all along? Kwa munthu amene akusowa ntchito this is suprising..may be these are the people who left other jobs thinking that they will make a fortune there? Dyeratu ili.ife ma lovafe tigwirabe mwachaje satafuna…

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