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Richard Chimwendo Banda

About three million Malawians have to part ways with K2,500 each this year to replace National Identity (ID) cards that started expiring on January 1 2021.

That is not all, according to National Registration Bureau (NRB) spokesperson Norman Fulatira; citizens that lost the card will have to produce police reports for the renewal process to be initiated.

“People should look at the importance of the card. This is a very important card which every citizen should have. In fact, the K2,500 is only a contribution towards purchasing of the materials for the production of the card,” he said.

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“In case of lost ID cards that have expired, applicants are required to obtain a police report which should be accompanied by a Government Receipt before submission of the application to NRB,” he said.

A statement from NRB says the cards are expiring in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation Standards upon which the Malawi ID is based.

According to the statement, the applicants must initiate the processes in person.

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“Applicant must in-person visit the nearest NRB District Registration Office (DRO), spread in all district councils across the country, and present the expired card. [The applicant will also have to] make an application at the DRO for replacement of the card by completing NR1 and NR6 forms,” the statement reads.

NRB says, for smooth transactions, citizens are being encouraged to make the application 30 days before the expiry of the cards but those whose IDs have expired will continue to use them until they are exchanged with the new ones.

NRB says, upon collection of the new card, the applicant is expected to surrender the expired card to the DRO for destruction and collect the new card after the 30 days of waiting.

At least 2.9 million Malawians’ National ID cards will expire this year.

Since Malawi commenced the mass registration of its citizens in May 2017, the national ID card has become one of the most critical possessions for Malawians to access various services such as banking, voting and subsidies.

The registration and identification of Malawian citizens followed the National Registration and Identification System Project which supported the National Registration Bureau (NRB) to have a functional and sustainable registration and identification system that will support improvements in service delivery, governance, economic and social inclusion, among others.

Speaking in an earlier interview last year, Homeland Security Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda said the government was ready for the exercise.

“As government, we are ready to immediately start renewing all the national identity cards that will be expiring. The Treasury has already set aside about K400 million for the procurement of the cards that will be expiring in January next year,” Banda said.

The ID cards being renewed will be valid for 10 years.

Approximately nine million eligible Malawian c

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