People at Mdeka in Blantyre District are being forced to photocopy registration forms in the National Registration exercise due to inadequate forms at the centres.
The challenge has led to an increased number of people who have not registered in the area. The people have, therefore, asked for an extension of registration days.
By 11am yesterday, Chikwembere, Masulani, Namalondwe and Mpanda had no registration forms and most people had left for other centres.
People at the centres said they are not happy using their own money to photocopy the forms as they were told registration is for free.
They said inadequacy of registration forms and shortage of registration officers at Mdeka Community Day Secondary School would prevent a lot of people from registering.
“We arrived here by 3am but had to wait till around 4pm to register. As if this is not bad enough, when our turn comes, we are told the forms are finished. There are a lot of us here, hence the need to extend days for registration and bring us more forms,” Boniface Willard, a resident of the area said.
Isaac Belo, an official of National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice), agreed that inadequate forms are the main challenge at most of the centres.
He added that another challenge is that there are about 17,000 people under Group Village Headman Nthache that are expected to be registered, yet there are only few registration officers.
“There are a number of challenges. Forms are not enough as well as the registration officers. The other challenge is that as Nice, we expected the exercise to start in August but it is surprising that it has started before we get resources. So, there has not been civic education,” Belo said.
Norman Fulatira, spokesperson of National Registration Bureau, said there is nothing wrong with photocopying as it serves people from long hours of queuing.
Government has invested K35 billion for the exercise.
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