Chilly weather is affecting the national identity cards registration exercise in Mchinji because the solar-powered equipment is failing to charge adequately.
A visit to Rusa, Kalulu, Chankhanga, Gandali and Balitse in the district on Wednesday showed that there has been inactivity for three days due to lack of power.
A registration clerk, who opted for anonymity, said sometimes they only manage to register one person in a day.
The clerk also said the equipment used for powering laptops and biometric registration kits such as power banks is not working.
At Mpita, however, the centre did not open because registration clerks who were deployed there abandoned their work, saying they could not work in a remote area.
Group village head Kambuwe told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that the people in Mpita are disappointed because no one has been registered since the exercise started on May 24.
“As a community, we appeal to National Registration Bureau [NRB] to deploy staff as soon as possible. People listened to awareness messages on the importance of national identity cards only to be let down by staff who said they cannot work here,” he said.
NRB public relations officer Norman Fulatira said the bureau is aware of problems being experienced in Mchinji and has sent a district monitoring team to assess the situation.
“In some cases, registration clerks have been advised to charge the equipment in nearby trading centres or charge from the cars used by monitoring teams,” he said.
Fulatira said it was true that four registration officers have quit but NRB is training more people to ensure they deploy staff to centres which did not open. n