NRB downsizes number of registration centers in Blantyre

Blantyre, August 07, 2017: A few centers in the ongoing registration for the national identity exercise in Blantyre have shut down despite huge numbers of people turning out to register, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has established.

According to many residents, Mana interviewed, the development is worrisome in view of the fact that if not addressed it would leave out a lot more unregistered.

A visit to Ntondolo centre in the district discovered that although the registration officers left the place on an understanding that they had completed the task, many people were still flocking to the registration centre.

I have just arrived. I wanted to register but I have been told that registration officers have since left. I am not the only one, many more are coming, Felix Chitunga said. If they don’t come back, it means we have missed the opportunity to register.

Chitunga claimed he thought of registering at a later date when the situation had improved due to unavailability of registration forms and long queues at the centre in the first days of the exercise.

Not that I didn’t want to register but rather there was too much pressure at the beginning of the exercise, Chitunga said.

Efforts by Mana to have Assistant District Registrar (ADR) for Blantyre District Council, George Chitsonga comment on the development proved futile.

However, in earlier announcements, Chitsonga said only those centres which had completed registration would be closed.

Chitsonga said the closure of a particular registration centre would only be done upon endorsement of a chief, ward councilor and Member of Parliament for the area.

There has to be valid evidence that everyone has registered in those centres for us to withdraw the registration officers, Chitsonga was quoted to have said.

The ADR added: It is the duty of everyone to ensure that before the team leaves the centre, there should be justification that the centre has indeed finished the registration exercise.

Registration in Blantyre started on July 14 and over 750,000 people were expected to register.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA