Source: Floods expose villagers’ lack of identity records | The Herald March 7, 2017
Pamela Shumba: Bulawayo Bureau
Many people in Tsholotsho District have no identity particulars. This was revealed when Tsholotsho North MP Professor Jonathan Moyo met the District Civil Protection Unit (CPU) last week at Sipepa Clinic where a temporary camp was set up to accommodate people displaced by floods.The CPU local team discovered that out of 150 pupils from Mahlaba Primary School, which was destroyed by the floods, only four had birth certificates.
The pupils include those who are supposed to register for Grade Seven, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations.
A total of 490 people at the camp also do not have birth records, a development that Prof Moyo described as a serious problem.
“It’s shocking to hear that out of 619 cases that they have documented, only 129 have birth certificates. Some of them lost their documents in the floods while others have never had birth records at all.
“Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has been saying for quite some time that a critical problem that is unique to this part of country is that we have people who are undocumented for historical reasons.
“Most of them don’t have identity documents and birth certificates while some acquired identity particulars through all sorts of means that forced them to alter their background,” said Prof Moyo.
He said this was a wake-up call for authorities. He said the floods had given the Government an opportunity to address the challenge.
“This is what happens with disasters. Sometimes it takes a disaster to expose you to cruel reality. We have been given an opportunity to address one of the serious problems we have in Tsholotsho.”