The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust in the Northern Region has cautioned people from giving their national identity cards away, describing the cards as a personal property.
The warning comes amidst increasing reports that some people in Lilongwe have had their ID cards snatched by agriculture extension workers purportedly for purposes of registering farm input subsidy (FISP) beneficiaries.
While dismissing fears of any such card-snatching incidences in Northern Malawi, Northern Region Civic Education Officer Vincent Kalawa cautioned people to safeguard the cards from people who may be snatching the cards from unsuspecting villagers.
“We have not received any reports of such incidences here in the Northern Region. But it is very unfortunate and this is what we as NICE have been telling the people. People should keep safe their IDs, they should not surrender it to anybody. That is a personal property, it is not for someone to take for FISP and anything like that,” Kalawa cautioned.
Media reports indicate that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chief Elections Officer Sammy Alfandika has already registered MEC’s concern with the principal secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to have all the IDs collected from people in Lilongwe returned.
Meanwhile, collection of national IDs in Mzuzu has resumed after a temporary stoppage of close to two weeks. A visit to the District Commissioner’s offices in Mzuzu found NICE and MEC officials distributing the cards to the eager owners, mainly young people who thronged the district commissioner’s office.
MEC’s District Elections Clerk for Mzimba North and member of the District Registration Taskforce for National Registration Bureau Demeria Rocha confirmed that the distribution of the national IDs resumed last week Wednesday.
The national IDs are the only IDs that will be accepted by MEC as identification of Malawians when registering as voters in the Biometric registration of voters ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections.