A Mzuzu-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) has joined other human rights defenders in calling for the registration of prisoners in the ongoing national identity (ID) card mass registration exercise.
According to president of the Confederation for Legal Representation, Advocacy and Awareness, Vitumbiko Msowoya, the issue needs urgent action.
“These are citizens just like anybody else. As such, they have a legal right to be identified just like any other citizen in this country,” he said.
He added that the decision by National Registration Bureau (NRB) to bar prisoners from the exercise constitutes segregation.
Reacting to the concern, NRB spokesperson Norman Fulatira said his organisation will target prisoners from 2018 onwards.
“In the pilot phase, we did target prisoners but we failed to cover all prisons in the country. It should also be borne in mind that prisons are always dynamic in terms of entry or exit of inmates,” he said.
Fulatira also said once released, the prisoners can always register with NRB. n