Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security has disclosed that 2.22 million Malawians have registered with the National Registration Bureau (NRB) in the third phase of the National Registration and Identification System (NRIS) exercise.
This effectively means that about six million people have now registered in the first three phases of the registration exercise since it started in May last year.
The project seeks to register approximately 9 million eligible Malawian citizens by December this year.
Speaking during a media briefing in Blantyre yesterday, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Chiumia said this represents about 98.5 percent of the projected 2.26 million registrants.
Phase three of the exercise covered the Southern Region districts of Blantyre, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Mulanje, Thyolo, Neno, Mwanza and Chiradzulu.
However, out of the eight districts, Chiradzulu recorded the lowest number of registrants. Chiumia attributed this to frequent movements among most residents who commute to and from Blantyre everyday either to work or do business.
The minister also announced that phases four and five of the exercise are underway in some parts of the Southern Region, including Balaka, Machinga, Mangochi and Zomba.
US Ambassador Virginia Palmer, who spoke on behalf of development partners supporting the programme, commended government, NRB and NRIS teams for achieving the target once again.
“The numbers speak for themselves. Malawians want to be registered and this is only the beginning. All Malawians must be granted the opportunity to register as citizens, or the national ID will not benefit the whole nation,” she observed.
According to the US envoy, one priority of her government and its agencies is to improve the health conditions for the children and all citizens of Malawi. n