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NRB confiscates national IDs from refugees

Ministry of Homeland Security has confiscated national identification cards from refugees.

Principal Secretary responsible for National Registration Bureau (NRB) Mphatso Sambo has expressed concern that some refugees possess illegal and fraudulent national ID cards, regarding it as a situation which threatens national security.

Sambo was speaking in Lilongwe when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security.

He said NRB has so far managed to confiscate nine illegal and one fraudulent ID cards since the commencement of the relocation exercise.

Recently, Ministry of Homeland Security relocated refugees and asylum seekers who lived and conducted business outside the refugee camp.

The exercise followed the expiration of the April 15, 2023 deadline government had given refugees residing outside the camp to voluntarily return to Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa.

“Malawi’s identity card is one of the most secured legal documents in the world hence it is not easy for someone to tamper with it as it possesses digital verification and magnetic readable zones, among other security features. That is why it was very easy for us to trace them,” said Sambo.

Nsambo cited a case at Dzaleka Refugee Camp where one of the refugees is in police custody for possessing a fraudulent ID card.

Concerned with the dubious acts, Sambo said NRB is in the process of lobbying Parliament to review the current Registration Act and strengthen the registration process.

“Previously it was a challenge as the Act did not have the mandate to register refugees hence the need to review it,” he said.

In an interview, Acting Regional Immigration Officer for the centre Superintendent Alexander Maseko concurred with Nsambo on the need to review the Registration Act saying the review is a step ahead in dealing with the malpractice.

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