Parly Committee Interrogates New NRB Boss

Mackford Somanje Chief Director for the National Registration Bureau Mackford Somanje Chief Director for the National Registration Bureau

Chief Director for the National Registration Bureau Mackford Somanje, appeared before the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament Thursday morning where he answered questions on reports that his organisation is conducting a registration exercise , which aims at assisting the governing Democratic Progressive Party to rig the forthcoming Presidential poll.

The committee raised a number of concerns on this matter.

Some were on allegations that minors and foreign nationals are being registered by NRB so that they can be allowed to vote for the governing party.

Some committee members also questioned the professionalism of the new NRB boss, saying the way he is assigning officers at the bureau , leaves alot to be desired.

They expressed fear on reports that some people are going round collecting National Identity Cards for purposes of rigging in the July 2 , 2020 Presidential election.

In response, Somanje described reports that the NRB is carrying out activities which aim at assisting the DPP to rig in the election, as unfortunate.

He said as NRB Head, he will ensure anyone working against the law at the bureau is punished, challenging he is discharging his duties professionally.

Somanje said any unlawful use of National IDs, will be investigated.

"We will not allow the image of NRB to be tarnished for unknown reasons. We will reach out to Malawians to explain our stand on these matters through the media so that the citizens are well informed," he said.

NRB is expected to provide support in the voter registration exercise expected to be carried out by the Malawi Electoral Commission, in phases, from this week.

In an interview , Chairperson for the Committee Kezzie Msukwa said the committee was not convinced with responses given by the NRB Head on safeguarding the National Identity Card.

He said considering that he has joined the bureau at a time the country is preparing for an election, his committee will be monitoring his performance to ensure there are better services.

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