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Five foreigners nabbed in mass registration exercise

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The National Registration Bureau (NRB) has said police have managed to arrest five foreigners who have been trying to register in the ongoing mass national identification and registration exercise.

The latest is the arrest of a Nkhotakota-based Rwandese, Christopher Sinayobye, on Friday.

NRB spokesperson, Norman Fulatira, said five foreigners have been arrested in Ntcheu, Dedza and Nkhotakota since May when mass registration began.

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Fulatira said, in Ntcheu, a Rwandese was arrested together with two registration officers.

Anyone found aiding foreigners to register is liable to a sentence of five years imprisonment with hard labour and a fine of K1 million.

In Dedza, three Mozambicans were also caught in their pursuit for a Malawian national identity card.

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In Nkhotakota, the Rwandese took advantage of the biometric registration kit that the bureau left at the district headquarters to register as a Malawian on July 18.

Fulatira said the Rwandese, who holds a valid Rwandan National Identity Card, was arrested after a tip-off from people in the area.

He admitted to be a foreigner and said a Malawian lured him to register.

“All the earlier cases are still in court,” Fulatira said.

There are fears that some foreigners may take advantage of the registration exercise to register as Malawians.

But, apart from asking Malawians to patriotically report all cases of foreigners trying to register, the bureau said it is doing its best to thoroughly screen the registrants.

The bureau plans to register an estimated 9.7 million Malawians of 16 years and above for the production of National Identification cards.

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