The National Registration Bureau (NRB) has said although Malawi delayed in introducing a national identity, it is emerging as one of the most versatile and forge-proof documents in the region.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) chief technical adviser Tariq Malik said this when editors and bureau chiefs were oriented in Lilongwe yesterday on the national identity mass registration campaign underway in the country.
Malik, who has experience in spearheading national identification programmes, including in countries like Pakistan, Kenya and Somalia, is assisting in the Malawi project that hopes to register 9.7 million people by December 31 this year.
“This is certainly one of the most secure identification cards in southern Africa. It has unique features that cannot be duplicated or forged,” he stated.
In his presentation, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) head of information and communications technology (ICT) Muhabi Chisi explained that the use of the versatile identity card will make voter registration processes in the country cost-effective and more reliable.
But he dismissed fears that MEC, which signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NRB over its need to tap some of the national population registration information, wants to rig the 2019 general elections through the pact.
NRB chief director Tresphore Kang’ombe said donors and government are fully supporting implementing the registration process that will give Malawians a reliable identity document that will be recognised internationally. n