Govt warns against corrupt practices in national ID exercise

Chazama interacts with NRB officials – Pic by Govati Nyirenda

Dedza, Minister for Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Cecilia Chazama, has warned some chiefs and registration clerks who are allegedly cashing in on the registration for national identity cards by allowing non-Malawians to register in return for bribes.

She said the law will hit hard on anyone involved in malpractices that can potentially sabotage the registration exercise.

Chazama issued the warning on Friday when she visited Dedza district to appreciate how the national registration exercise is progressing.

The government will not spare any registration clerk or traditional leader who receives bribes from foreign nationals to have them registered as Malawians. We urge people who suspect such irresponsible behavior to come forward with evidence and the law will take its course, she said.

She urged community members to be the patriotic by ensuring that no non-Malawian gets the national identity which she described as an important tool in ensuring that the country’s social services are benefiting legitimate Malawians only.

Malawians cannot go to another country and register as nationals there. Why should it happen here? The country’s hospital budgets do not last especially in border districts because some foreign nationals are flocking into our health centers. The national identity card will help in sorting out that problem, she said.

She also expressed displeasure at allegations that some registration clerks are conniving with local leaders and police officers to demand cash payments from community members when they want to register saying the practice will marginalize poor people.

The minister stressed that the registration is for free and soliciting of funds from community members will not be condoned.

National Registration Bureau (NRB) made a contractual agreement with these people when hiring them. They get paid for accommodation and food so there is no need for the staff to be soliciting money from people, she said.

District Commissioner (DC) for Dedza, James Manyetera, suggested that some registration staff should remain in every ward and registration centres in all districts to give a chance to some people who fail to register during the exercise.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA