National Registration Bureau (NRB) has expressed concern that slightly over half of children born in Nkhotakota between March and August this year have been registered as required by law.
Addressing Nkhotakota District Council members on the importance of birth registration to the country, NRB production manager Rodrick Langwe said out of 6 439 children born in the district between March and August this year, only 3 749 were registered representing 58 percent.
He said the National Registration Act which was passed into law in 2010 and gazetted in 2015 gives the bureau mandate to register births, deaths, marriages and issue national identity cards through mass registration for all citizens aged 16 and above.
According to Langwe, hospital personnel are empowered to register every birth at a health post while local leaders are supposed register all children born at home.
“A fine would be introduced to all parents who fail to register their children. Every child beyond six weeks to 16 years will be registered at the district council at a fee.
“This does not certify women to give births in homes, punishments will follow accordingly,” he said.
Langwe said registration will address child labour, trafficking and abuse issues since the card will show total security or ownership of the child.
Speaking during the same meeting, NRB public relations officer Norman Fulatira assured the people who registered that they will receive their cards any time this month. n