Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Clean up the mess on registration exercise


It seems the National Registration Bureau cannot just get it right on the National Identification registration exercise, with the latest being the sickening news that police officers in Mangochi and Machinga districts have threatened to withdraw their services over unpaid allowances.

For starters, first it was clean in the exercise going on strike then drivers, too, parked their vehicles.

Now, the least you want to hear is that crucial stakeholders, the police, intend to down their tools.


This is the exercise that has, right from the word go, been dogged by teething problems.

This is the exercise that has successfully frustrated the very same targeted citizens due to long queues and shortage of stationery…the list goes on.

To make matters worse, the whole exercise has been threatened by incidents of foreigners trying to beat the system and register as Malawians.


At stake is the priceless document that would determine one’s citizenship. And that identity card (ID) is not an ordinary piece of paper. It is a document that would be used when voting in the next tripartite elections.

Apart from that, the IDs are crucial because they will help the government to plan on allocation of resources to its citizens as well as flushing out foreigners who have been accessing our resources at the expense of citizens.

The question is: was the exercise preceded by preparations? If yes, how come the bureau is struggling logistically?

Looking at the myriad problems that have been the hallmark of the registration exercise, one can easily conclude that there were serious lapses in preparations.

Our plea to the bureau and indeed the line ministry is that they should keep their houses in order and sort out the mess before it is too late. The mess that is happening now can break or make this country in the near future.

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