By Mike Gwadani
National Registration Bureau (NRB) has admitted that it is issuing national identity cards to16 year old Malawians.
Recently the social media has been awash with stories that in an effort to rig the forth coming fresh presidential elections in favour of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party the bureau was issuing National ID’s to people of 16 year old instead of 18 years old.
However in a statement signed by NRB Chief Director M. Somanje said the eligibility for National ID registration is from 16 years of age while “Voting age” is at 18 years old.
Reads part of the statement, “NRB would like to remind the general public that the national registration act of 2010 mandates the bureau to register every Malawian citizen of all 16 years old and above(among other mandates) for the issuance of national identity cards”
The statement further says NRB has noted with concern alarming and malicious information circulating on social media targeting continuous registration of Malawians particularly those that are just turning 16 years of age.
It also says NRB is concerned with social media stories that the bureau is registering Malawian citizens of under 18 years old for “voting “purposes.
“The general public is therefore informed that registration to participate in the voting during any election is the responsibility of Malawi Electoral Commission(MEC).
This means that all Malawian citizen may register for national ID but may not be eligible to vote if they are below 18 years old as mandated by the MEC and not NRB.
“This means that who so ever is responsible for circulating the write up on social media is either not aware of the registration age for national ID or is deliberately tarnishing the image of the bureau and the Government of the Republic of Malawi as a whole for ill intention”