General News

Malawians start national identity registration

Date: Jun 7, 2017

Malawi has begun a process of ensuring that its citizens are registered so they have national identity cards.

The project is carried out by the national registration bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs since this June until December 2017. 

National Identity Cards will be issued to all citizens aged 16 years and above. Malawian children under the age of 16 will also be registered once their parents and guardians take them to registration centres upon the start of the project.

Phases one and two will cover districts in the central region, phases three and four will cover southern region based districts while phase five is due to cover districts in the northern region.

Up to 2 000 registration teams will be deployed to register Malawian citizens in registration centres countrywide. The mass registration is an opportunity for every Malawian to have their own national ID card to make it possible for the ID card holder to show their eligibility for multiple purposes.

The cards will allow Malawians have access to free primary education, social services like health care, and to meet financial requirements such as getting a bank loan.

To register for the National ID, Malawi citizens must provide proof of their citizenship by providing valid identification documents such as licences, birth certificates, voter IDs and if one does not have these chiefs have to certain his citizenship.

Government started the first ever mass registration process last year with 5 000 people. The project was dubbed a milestone for the government as Malawians were subjected to the use of driving licenses, passports and voter registration certificates as proof of their citizenship wherever needed.  

Malawi is the only country in SADC without such IDs for its citizens. Malawi has a population of 16 million people. The National Registration Bureau was established in 2007 to oversee the process of issuing national identity documents.

--George Mhango Blantyre--

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