The National Registration Bureau (NRB) has announced that it will be undertaking mass registration of Malawian citizens for issuance of National identity (ID) cards starting June this year.
In a press statement, NRB which is under the ministry of home affairs and internal security says the registration exercise will begin in the Central Region.
“The mass registration will be carried out through phases 1 and 2 which will cover districts in the Central Region and phases 3 and 4 will cover districts in the Southern Region while phase 5 will cover all districts in the Northern Region of Malawi.
“In each phase, up to 2000 registration teams will be deployed to register Malawi citizens in registration centres for National IDs and it will be done at the same location which was used by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for the registration of voters,” it said.
The National ID cards will be issued to all Malawian citizens aged 16 and above while children under the age of 16 will be registered by their parents or guardians.
NRB says in the statement that there will be continuous civic education campaign to guide Malawians through the process of registration.
However, during the process Malawian citizens will be required to provide proof of their citizenship and they can do that by providing valid identification documents such as drivers licence, Voter ID, birth certificate or other acceptable documents.
Citizens with no valid ID documents can use the village register together with the testimony of the village head or local leaders or get testimony of two community witnesses.
The identity cards will allow Malawians access bank loans, free primary education as well as social services such as healthcare.
The mass registration project is led by Malawi Government’s NRB with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Government of Malawi is contributing 40% of the project cost and the remaining 60% is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), European Union (EU), Irish Aid, the Government of Norway, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and UNDP.