Lilongwe, July 22, 2017: The National Registration Bureau (NRB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have improved access to registration forms by including website downloading as a liberalised mode of distribution.
NRB public relations officer Norman Fulatira told Malawi News Agency in interview on Saturday that they have adopted this approach to further strengthen control over the NR1 (Registration Form).
“This move is meant to ensure achievement of the principle of universal coverage that guides the citizen registration processes,” Fulatira said.
The availability of the forms at registration centers has been subject to public queries in the past week, with mainstream and social media reports indicating that some people were failing to start the registration process due to unavailability of forms in some centres.
But in an interview with MANA, UNDP chief technical advisor Tariq Malik said there are currently enough forms for all eligible Malawians and that distribution is dependent on how many people the registration officers can process in day.
“They give out forms to the number of people that they can register per day. They do not want to waste people’s time queuing by handing out too many forms,” Malik said.
He reminded the nation that the forms are for free and can also be downloaded from the websites of NRB and UNDP.
“Anyone who tries to sell the forms is unfortunately taking the undue advantage of the demand for registration”, he said adding that some arrests have been made of persons trying to charge registrants who want to access the forms.
Tariq Malik reiterated the absolute commitment not to leave anybody behind in the National Registration Project.
“The leading principle is universal coverage, the work will continue until every eligible Malawian has had the opportunity to register.
Our first testimony is the results in the districts of the first phase of the project where 95 per cent of the population was registered,” he said.
To ensure that no one is left behind even after the registration phase has ended in other parts of the country, some biometric registration kits have been left behind in the districts of Phase one, according to Malik.
“We want to allow those who missed out earlier to go and register. This strategy will be implemented in all the five phases of the project,” he said.