The National Registration Bureau (NRB) says it has so far received three batches containing 4.6 million cards which it has been distributing to citizens in the Central and Southern Region districts of the coun-try since October this year.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, NRB spokesperson Norman Fulatira said in October, the bu-reau received 1.5 million cards and in November the bureau received 1.9 million cards from a French company called SELP which is printing the cards. Another batch of 1.2 million cards arrived in the coun-try early this month.
Fulatira said the forth batch of card is expected in the country on January 12, 2018.
The cards are being distributed in 15 districts including all districts in the Central Region and selected districts in the Southern Region.
“Distribution of ID cards under mass registration is already in progress and expected to come to an end in March, 2018. The exercise is taking place in all districts of the Central Region plus Blantyre, Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje and Chiradzulu,” he explained.
In terms of challenges, the NRB spokesperson said not much has been reported so far except spelling errors.
“Such errors will be rectified early next year and those with cards with errors will be asked to present themselves to NRB district offices and post offices for correction,” he said.
He further said distribution of cards is through registration centers for 21 days after which the remain-ing cards will be taken to NRB district offices for further distribution.
However, he could not come clear on the total cost of the exercise.
About 9, 186, 689 Malawians registered during the national identity registration exercises which took place from May to October this year.
Making the official announcement of the mass registration statistics, President Peter Mutharika said the figure was a 100 percent representation of the targeted population.
Mutharika indicated that the National ID card is a game changer that will deal with a number of anoma-lies in public service delivery.
He hinted that with a legal identity of every citizen, government will now be able to flash out ghost workers from the public service and save more money. He added that with the National ID, every citi-zen can now easily access bank services because banks will feel secured in dealing with legally identifi-able citizens.
According to Mutharika, the system will also help government in tightening security on the country’s borders and unlock Malawi’s economic and development potential at household and individual levels.