Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has warned that it is a crime to possess a national identity (ID) card of another.
MEC chief elections officer Andrew Mpesi said this in a statement on Saturday following the arrest of village head Mbamba from Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi District and his secretary for allegedly being found in possession of 89 national IDs.
Police arrested Mbamba, real name David Kazembe, and his secretary, Achimwalira Hassan, on Friday as they were recording ID numbers of people for this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
According to Mpesi, the two were arrested at M’baluku Trading Centre which is outside the parameter of St Augustine 2 Primary School, the sole registration centre for Mwasa Ward.
He said in the statement that the commission’s investigations which were corroborated by police established that the national IDs were collected by the duo so that they record numbers of beneficiaries of this year’s Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP).
Reads part of the statement: “Our initial investigations indicate that the village head collected these IDs so that he could record the ID numbers for the people who were being registered for the Agricultural Input Programme by Ministry of Agriculture officials.
“The village head found himself at M’baluku Trading Centre because he wanted to meet his secretary, who had gone there for business, to finalise the list of beneficiaries as the initial one had no national ID numbers and they needed to submit it the same day.”
According to the statement, when the duo sat down to finalise the list, some people saw them and informed the police.
The duo are said to have indicated that the names were meant for AIP beneficiaries, a statement that was corroborated by Ministry of Agriculture officials.
“The commission is informing stakeholders that during an election, it is not possible for a person to register on behalf of another and to register more than once because the system detects existing registered voters on registration,” further reads the statement.