The National Registration Bureau (NRB) has rejected claims that the campaign in which it is registering young people who have just turned 16 is linked to the 2020 fresh elections.
In a statement, NRB Chief Director, Mackford Somanje said the campaign is not for voting purposes.
“The eligibility for National ID’s registration is from 16 years of age while voting age is at 18 years,” said Somanje.
Somanje added that the registration for people to participate in the voting during election, is a mandate exercised by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), which means Malawian citizens can register for a national ID but may not be eligible to vote if they are below 18 years old.
On Thursday, there were reports on social media that children below the voting age were being take to the District Commissioner’s office to register for national IDs.
According to the reports, some children from remote areas were being ferried to the DC’s office by vehicles belonging to political parties.
Meanwhile, the NRB has expressed concern over the stories circulating saying they are aimed tarnishing the bureau’s image.
The NRB has asked the general public to desist from circulating such malicious information but instead to continuously seek right information from the Bureau.
On 9 March 2020, NRB, UNDP and the National Registration Identification Projects (NRIS) launched the ‘Dolo Amalembetsa Unzika’civic education campaign aimed at mobilizing young Malawian aged 16 and above, to register for national IDs as stipulated in the National Registration Act.