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Voter registration kit theft unfortunate—envoys

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By Feston Malekezo:

Foreign missions in the country have described as unfortunate the missing of biometric registration kits used for registering voters for the 2019 tripartite elections.

A biometric registration kit was found on a train which was travelling from Mozambique while a laptop and a power bank were also reported to have been stolen in Mzuzu.

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“We acknowledge that the theft of two Biometric Registration Kits (BRKs) is unfortunate and, appreciating the comprehensive information the Mec [ Malawi Electoral Commission] provided to the Necof [National Electoral Consultative Forum] on October 31, urge that such information be provided in a more timely way to enhance public trust,” reads a joint statement released Wednesday.

The foreign missions have, however, assured that no data was compromised and have since called upon Malawi Police Service to conduct prompt and thorough investigations into the issue and prosecute those responsible.

“Most importantly, we note that the extensive built-in security features of the registration kits along with the many human and technical safeguards mean that neither the civil registration nor voter registration data was compromised,” the statement reads.

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The foreign missions have also applauded Mec for what they call a successful voter registration exercise which has seen 6.8 million people registering.

The missions include British High Commission, Embassy of Iceland, Embassy of Ireland, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of the United States, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Mozambican High Commission, South African High Commission and Zambian High Commission.

Meanwhile, electoral stakeholders have been encouraged to continue constructive, evidence-based dialogue around election preparations to deepen the confidence of the electorate, which is key to holding credible and peaceful elections.

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