By: Lackson Kanyoza
Malawians have all the reasons to smile as finally, the National Registration Bureau (NRB) has confirmed that issuing of identity cards will start in the next six weeks.
The long waited exercise was shelved in 2013 due to lack of funding and logistical challenges.
Speaking to the local media yesterday, NRB spokesperson Norman Fulatira said they have now signed a contract with a foreign firm worth $1.4 million.
“We have signed a contract with a foreign company which will start mobilising for the exercise. The contract is worth $1.4 million and is expected to roll out in the next six weeks,” said Fulatira.
Fulatira said the exercise will make sure that all Malawians aged 16 and above will be registered.
The registration will first take place as a trial in some rural and urban areas in order to assess what challenges will be faced. Mass registration will only commence when these challenges have been fully assessed.
Fulatira added that the company will start sending the registration equipment like servers, printers and other important items into the country within the next few weeks.
Malawians do not have official National identification document apart from a passport, voter registration certificate or driver’s licence. It is expected that by 2017 all Malawian citizens will be registered and will have these IDs.
The process is also meant to enable government and stakeholders to process the country’s emigration and immigration data.