The Malawi government, through donor and other development partners, is implementing a mass voter registration exercise.
The National Registration Bureau (NRB) Public Relations Officer Norman Fulatira described the exercise as a success.
In a statement released to the media, Fulatira says Malawi will benefit a lot once the exercise is done. The bureau also acknowledged two challenges they’ve faced recently: chilly weather in Mchinji and Ntchisi districts, and the resignation of three staff members due to personal reasons.
“The National Registration Bureau and its partners are so far impressed that the mass registration of Malawian citizens for national identification cards has started on a high note with many eligible Malawians visiting centers to become registered. The bureau also acknowledges challenges met thus far, including the resignation of at least three staff members due to personal reasons, which should be respected as a human right,” he said.
Fulatira says in conjunction with stakeholders, the NRB is doing everything possible within limited resources to ensure that no eligible citizen is denied the opportunity to register because of these hiccups.
Fulatira said the number registered is very encouraging.
“So far, over 100,000 Malawians have been registered in week one since the exercise started on May 24, a week earlier than expected. The bureau and all key stakeholders including the UN and key development partners are happy with the progress made,” Fulatira said.
The Bureau is urging Malawians to appreciate that the mass registration drive is a national initiative of government for the people and by the people of Malawi. The project is being implemented by the UNDP with support from the Government of Malawi, EU, the UK, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Irish Aid, and USAID.
“The mass registration exercise is being conducted in five phases, with the first phase covering Kasungu, Ntchisi, Nkhota Kota, Mchinji, Dowa and Salima, coming to an end in mid-July. A phase is between 14 and 25 days, depending on circumstances.
“The Bureau is, therefore, encouraging citizens in these districts to visit their nearest registration centers to get registered now, and beat inevitable congestion as the closing date draws near,” Fulatila said.