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Mzimba CSOs fear apathy in registration exercise

Civil Society Organizations Network in Mzimba expressed fear that the registration for the national identification cards, might face apathy. The network said the exercise started abruptly without sensitizing the public.

Chairperson for the CSOs Network Joshua Hara said on Wednesday he was surprised to see registration staff being deployed in the fields, yet people in the communities were not aware of the exercise.

“We got information that in Mzimba, registration will ?start on 11th October? 2017; but we are surprised to see people being deployed. This will affect the number of people that are going to register.

“Such information of change of dates, was supposed to come through the District Executive Committee (DEC) or through full Council meeting so that all chiefs and councillors are available for easy communication to the public,” Hara said.

He said as a national exercise, it should be given priority for more sensitization before the activity starts.

District Civic Education Officer for Mzimba, Cosmas Longwe, said his office was also taken by surprise about the change of dates.

He said to ensure the information on the start of registration spreads in the district, the office he represents, National Initiative for Civic Education — NICE — is used as its volunteers fan out to send communication to churches to alert people about the start of the exercise. He said trust strategizes on sensitization.

In his response to claims of the abrupt start of registration in Mzimba, spokesperson for the National Registration Bureau (NRB) Norman Fulatira, downplayed the sentiments, saying what was good was that the exercise had started.

“It is actually good that the exercise has started. The office of NICE received sub-granted funds meant for sensitization across the district to ensure all people are alerted,” Fulatira said.

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