Hundreds of Malawians in Nkhatabay whose national identify cards expired are being chased from registration centres for failing to pay K2500 to renew their IDs.
In an interview, Sarah Banda, who was chased from Kang’oma primary school centre in the district, admitted that, due to economic situations in the country, she would not manage to source the money within the 12 days the NRB officials will be in the area.
Yeluzgani Banda, another poor Malawian, described the situation as worrisome considering the significance of the identity card.
“So, because I’m poor, a peasant farmer, I’m denied access to renew my identity card? I’m afraid. The next farming season may be my worst nightmare as without it, I may not be allowed access to affordable inputs,” he complained.
Tito Mlotha, a school leaver, fears, his poverty would lead him into the cycle of extreme poverty. His failure to source MK2500 would limit his access to most basic necessities.
“So, I’ll not be eligible to sit for any job interview. My access to medical services is at stake as well,” he said.
About 5 million people have their national identify cards expired this year, and as a requirement to have them renewed, they are demanded to pay MK2500.
In a country where around 90 percent of the citizenry live below $1 a day, sourcing this, seemingly, little amount of money is not an easy task to many.
Recently, rights groupings have been questioning the rationale for having national identity cards expire in Malawi while in neighboring countries like Zambia, the same are permanent.
Government has not been giving sufficient justification on the move.