By Moses Michael-Phiri

…Registration challenges are also affecting people such as refugees, asylum-seekers. and Malawians of Indian origin who have yet to get a national ID.

Proving that they are Malawian will be a tall order for many such people, including poor urban dwellers.

Mussa Adam, a trader of Indian origin, is scared of the task of proving his “Malawianness”.

“I grew up in Malawi, in a small town of Limbe,” in the south, he says.

“I have no other place to call home and I don’t know any traditional leader who will back me or support me. So I’m really stressed about my future if I’m denied the ID.”

No wonder in some districts reports have emerged of chiefs demanding money from their subjects or people bribing chiefs to vouch for them.

“I have reports that some chiefs demand cash from politicians and government officials for them to persuade their subjects to go to registration,” said Felix Mkandawire, district commissioner of the lakeshore district of Nkhota-Kota in central Malawi.

“We will investigate,” he pledged.

Grace Chiumia, the minister of home affairs and internal security, says a task force has been formed to look into the challenges facing the project, which will pause this Nov. 28 and reopen next January.

“The government is aware of the challenges, and we have assigned a technical team to address them,” Chiumia told Anadolu Agency in a telephone interview.

The project is funded by Malawi’s government and development partners to the tune of nearly $49.7 million. Currently, over 100,000 Malawians have been registered…