BY STAFF REPORTER
THE Home Affairs ministry will embark on a countrywide exercise to register eligible voters in preparation for the 2023 general election, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe has said.
He said this while speaking at the official opening of Guruve District Registry, where he promised to open more such offices throughout the country to shorten the distances rural communities travel in order to access national documents.
“The department will soon be embarking on a countrywide exercise to ensure every eligible voter is registered and documented in preparation for the 2023 plebiscite,” Kazembe said.
“This will be done in consultation with the traditional and community leadership. Government attaches great importance to civil registration because it captures accurate data necessary for national development.
“It is a legal requirement that every child be registered within 42 days of birth. A birth certificate is, therefore, an essential legal document for securing recognition of individuals before the law and safeguards their human rights and access to basic social
Kazembe said some of the challenges faced in the acquisition of registration documents were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which created a backlog in civil registrations.
“The situation is, however, soon going to be corrected through the engagement of a partner, which is set to see the production of passports, identity cards and birth certificates en masse, beginning December 2021,” he said.
“Decentralisation of passport issuance services to districts has begun with Chitungwiza already operational. Beitbridge and Zvishavane will soon be coming on stream.”
Kazembe said the Guruve registry offices was earmarked for passport issuance, adding that the Registrar-General’s Office had been on mobile registration exercises in disaster prone areas, and reaching out to the San community in Matabeleland South province, and other marginalised areas such as Binga.
“The ceremony today demonstrates government’s commitment to improve on service delivery, which will result in cost saving on transport and reduction on the distances citizens travel to access services,” he said. “Plans are afoot to establish more registry offices to further reduce the distance people travel to access our services.”