Minister of Homeland Security Jean Sendeza says that the Ministry of Homeland Security through the National registration Bureau (NRB) will conduct mass child registration starting from October this year.
The Minister disclosed this on Tuesday 27 September, 2022 in Lilongwe during the National Registration Bureau stakeholders consultation meeting.
According to Sendeza, the mass child registration will cover 8.4 million children and Government wants to ensure that children below the age of 16 are registered having done the same for people aged 16 years and above.
She said the first phase of the exercise will be done in Mwanza district, Lilongwe Rural East and Karonga district.
“We want to have registration as an important tool that will see to it that each and every child and each citizen of the country is registered. When a country has got its citizens registered it can easily budget and plan for the services to lender to its citizens. So as Ministry of Homeland Security, we are mandated to look into issues of registration of all the citizens of Malawi, through the National registration Bureau and you have seen that a lot of stakeholders spoke on the issues that indeed it is important to register all the citizens of Malawi,” explained Sendeza.
She noted that the first phase is being funded by Government and development partners like UNDP and UNICEF, but other districts will be covered in other phases and they will need a lot of money. She then called on development partners and other stakeholders to help with funding for the exercise.
She also commended UNDP and other development partners for the support they have rendered towards the exercise.
According to Sendeza, the National Registration Bureau has contributed 8 Million US dollars towards this project.
In his remarks, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Homeland Security responsible for National Registration Burea Mphatso Augustine Sambo said, as the Ministry of Homeland Security they are implementing the mass registration to make sure that every Malawian is registered.
“So in the year 2017 we had registered everybody who was above 16 years old and also we implemented birth registration in all the hospitals, but there’s a group of people especially those who are turning 16 now and probably by that time they were not 16. So we have about eight million and four hundred thousand people who are supposed to be registered and be issued with a unique identification. So this is a continuation of the process of registering everyone so that every Malawian has a unique identification and for those who are less than 16 years old they will be issued with the birth certificates and for those who turn 16 years they will be issued with a National ID,” said Sambo.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale noted that the mass child registration is key in ending the problem of registering under aged children during elections.
Kachale added that the credibility of an election starts with having a credible voter registration hence the mass child registration is very important.
The mass child registration is commencing in October and it’s starting in phases, starting with Mwanza, Karonga and Lilongwe rural east and then the other phases will follow. The exercise will be done in six phases and is expected to be completed in 2023.
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