By Our Reporter
Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC says National Identity-ID Cards for six million people in Malawi are expected to expire by 2025.
Its Commissioner, Francis Kasaila has disclosed this but pledges to ensure speedy process of issuing the new ID’s for all eligible voters to cast their vote.
“Unicef is pumping in resources to NRB to facilitate speedy processing of National ID’s. That’s why we are in talks with the National Registration Bureau-NRB to speed up the process,” Kasaila says.
He said these on Wednesday when MEC briefed Members of the Multiparty Liaison Committee and District Elections Supervisory Team on some of the newly introduced electoral laws in Mangochi.
However, Councillors from Mangochi Municipal Council have expressed discomfort with some of the laws to become operational during the 2025 tripartite elections.
One of the amended laws says only candidates with National ID’s will be allowed to vote.
Councillor for Nkanamwano Ward Wellington Mangulenje fears with the NRB’s pace in ID issuance, it won’t be feasible for more people to cast their votes.
” With the current trend where it is taking a year or two for NRB to issue the ID’s, people will be denied their right to the ballot, they should reconsider this decision,” said Mangulenje.
The general elections are expected in September and not May 2025. Again, the polling process shall run from 6am to 8pm and not 6pm as has been the tradition. The amended laws have also reduced number of people per stream from 800 to 600.
Previously, NRB attributed delays in processing renewal of expired ID’s to the process of changing several biometric data in the system.
NRB spokesperson Norman Fulatira said that while the bureau may have people’s information in its system, some of the changes that take place take time.