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Over 500,000 people register for National IDs

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The National Registration Bureau (NRB) has registered over 500,000 Malawian citizens in phase one of the National Identity Card registration campaign representing 40 percent of the targeted people.

In a statement issued on Monday, the bureau said, first phase was conducted in five districts of Mchinji, Ntchisi, Salima, Nkhotakota and Kasungu and soon the bureau will deploy registration staff to Dowa District.

“NRB expects to register about 1.4 million Malawians in the six districts of the first phase. We are working closely with local authorities to ensure that nobody is left behind.

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“As teams move out of the district, after reaching the estimated targets, we will leave at least one Biometric Registration Kit (BRK) at the District Registration Office to be used to capture anyone left out during the campaign,” reads the statement.

The bureau further acknowledged the challenges rocking the exercise, but said registration in the five districts is going on well.

“Only those 16 years and older, are permitted to register for a national ID card and those below are being registered for a birth certificate and will automatically qualify for an ID upon turning 16. The mass registration exercise is being conducted in five phases of between 14 and 25 days, depending on circumstances,” it reads.

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The exercise is a government project being implemented by the government with support from UNDP, EU, UK Government, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Irish Aid, and USAID

Registration of citizens in phase one commenced on May 24, 2017 and is expected to end on July 15, 2017.

The exercise courted controversy when the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) announced that people would vote using the national IDs during the 2019 tripartite elections.

Representatives of the opposition parties accused Mec of “systematically” plotting to rig the elections through a problem-ridden national identity cards registration process.

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