National registration exercise starts in Lilongwe

Lilongwe, Registration for the citizen identification has started in Lilongwe rural with about 12 centres already opened for the exercise.

Speaking in an interview with the Malawi News Agency Wednesday, Assistant District Registrar for Lilongwe District, Thandie Chiumia said so far things are going on well as people are flocking to the registration centres to have their names registered.

I would say so far so good, people are coming to register their names for the National Identification. We are using centres that were previously used by the Malawi Electoral Commission and we are impressed with the turn up, said Chiumia.

She said the exercise has started in Mapuyu North, Mapuyu South, Lilongwe North, Msozi South, Msozi North, Lilongwe Kumachenga, Lilongwe North-East, Lilongwe Mpenu, Lilongwe South-east, Lilongwe East, Lilongwe Central and some parts of Lilongwe North West.

Asked if there are some challenges encountered since the registration started, Chiumia said there were problems with charging of solar panels which resulted in slow progress.

Because of the (cold) weather, our teams are having problems in charging solar panels that are being used. Some registration members of staff are leaving their centres to have the panels charged at trading centres and this is delaying the work, explained Chiumia.

She however, observed that some people are not turning up for the registration because of some myths that they will be forced to join some cults. On this the district registrar said there is need to further engage religious leaders on the issue to help in the sensitization on what the exercise is all about.

The national identification exercise is ongoing and every Malawian is expected to register their names. Malawi was the only country in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region where people did not have national identification.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA