Politicians and Lawmaker in the country are pressuring the government to speed up the process of issuing national identity cards (IDs) in order to address challenges emanating from their absence.

Legislator for Kasungu Central Amon Nkhata asked the authorities to put in place immediate plans that will address the influx of foreigners in public hospitals particularly in boarder districts.

Nkhata emphasized that late delay of the development is exerting enormous pressure on provision of health services in the country.

He wondered why Malawi allows people from other countries to access medical services in public hospitals for free, when such gestures are not allowed in the respective countries.

In response, Minister of Health Dr, Jean Kalilani acknowledged the influx of foreigners in the public hospitals, but was quick to mention that the government had, currently, no specific measures to employ to address the challenge.

She then called of the Parliamentary Committee on Health to engage other stakeholders in mapping the way forward on the issue.

In response to the remarks Minister of Health Dr, Jean Kalilani acknowledged the influx of foreigners in the public hospitals, but was quick to mention that the government had, currently, no specific measures to employ to address the challenge.

She then called of the Parliamentary Committee on Health to engage other stakeholders in mapping the way forward on the issue.

However, it was unanimously agreed that the introduction of national IDs was the only way out of this and other challenges related to the same.

Malawi has had no national Identification documents for its citizens. Instead people have been using voter registration certificates, passports and driving license a development which commentators say is legally incorrect.

The National Registration Bureau (NRB), now under the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC), was officially set up in 2007 and it is mandated to establish the National Registration and Identification System (NRIS) for Malawi.

The NRB is the government’s organ tasked to oversee the process of issuing national identity documents.

But seven years down the line, the bureau was yet to issue the IDs to citizens.

Representatives of the bureau have on several occasions cited the development to financial constraints.

But the general public has questioned the continued existence of the bureau when it is ‘failure to produce intended results.’

Most of those who have been commenting on the matter, also faulted registrations procedures, which force people to register in their respective home villages, arguing the move is not viable considering the ‘tough economic times’.

“Imagine, me I come from Chitipa and I need not less than MK30, 000 to travel to my home village to register…. But as I am talking to you now, I earn less than MK25, 000 a month, which is not even enough to sustain my family, so how can I travel to Chitipa just to register?… this move of forcing people to register in the home villages is a nonstarter,” said a Mr Mwarwimba in the streets of Blantyre earlier.

But NRB officials have on several occasions backed their procedure, citing provisions of the National Registration Act.

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