IDs, birth certificates to be issued at church

Source: IDs, birth certificates to be issued at church | Sunday Mail (Local News)

Bulawayo Bureau

The Registrar-General’s Office will start issuing civil documents such as birth certificates and identity cards at large church gatherings using its mobile units to make it easier for people to access key documents.

The initiative is also part of measures to decentralise the process.

Registrar-General Mr Clemence Masango said the department can only be able to facilitate the process if it is invited by the conveners.

“For the first time, we have started decentralising mobile registration to provinces and districts, who are now required to carry out at least one outreach in every two months at district level. We also respond to special events, if churches are meeting in large groups, they can organise and call us to bring our services to where they will be,” said Mr Masango.

“We do this especially with the apostolic and Zion churches. We are always available if invited for these big gatherings.”

Mobile units also issue and replace documents after national disasters.

Access to birth certificates, Mr Masango said, is of great importance to the department as it is the primary document necessary for citizens to process national identity documents and passports, among others.

The department has offices in every district, which are complemented by sub-offices.

“Despite this, there are areas that are still far away from our offices and that is why we embark on mobile registrations.

Again, as part of our outreach, we are doing targeted outreach exercises in Tsholotsho in consultation with local leadership and communities.

“We also have Plumtree and Gwanda. The provincial offices are working with the local leadership to do those outreaches.”

The RG also acknowledged the issuance of passports was plagued by corruption by staff in the department.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said Government was investigating the rot.

Last week, the ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fidelity Printers and Refiners to secure consumables needed to print the travel document.

The passport backlog presently stands at 400 000.

Ordinary passports now cost $150, up from $53, while the emergency passport fee has been increased from $253 to $600.