Foreigners especially from Mozambique are said to be taking advantage of the ongoing voter registration in Mulanje to acquire the Malawian National Identification (ID) card.
This has been observed especially in Mulanje South East constituency which borders Mozambique. It is alleged that some chiefs in the bordering areas are aiding Mozambicans to access the ID card by issuing them letters at a fee to present at registration centers.
Assistant District Registrar for the National Registration Bureau, Winston Kalambo confirmed the development with Mana on Friday in an interview.
He said it is surprising that in a day a centre in the bordering areas issues over 100 IDs to new applicants yet chiefs from the areas confirmed with his office that all their subjects were issued with the IDs during last year’s national mass registration.
He cited Mpala registration centre as one of the centers which has had huge numbers of new ID applicants in the past week.
“Indeed this has been the case in the bordering constituency of Mulanje South East where a lot of people are coming in to register for the National identification on the voter registration centers yet we covered the whole district in the mass national ID registration last year”.
“The trend has been different in other centers away from the bordering areas where in a day, less than 10 new ID applicants are coming in,” explained Kalambo.
District Commissioner for Mulanje, Charles Makanga confirmed the development in the said areas.
He was however, quick to mention that the situation has now been controlled as District Elections Supervisory Team has, on a daily basis, been going to those areas to assist in monitoring to make sure only bona-fide Malawians are registering.
Makanga, however, faulted chiefs involved in aiding foreigners and he has since sent a strong warning that if found, they would be arrested.
“This is a very unfortunate development but everything is under control now as our officers are all over to monitor what is happening on the ground, let me also urge party monitors to be vigilant enough to make sure foreigners are not accessing the services,” he said.
Phase five of voter registration which Mulanje district was part of, ends on September 15.