Low IDs uptake in Matabeleland

Source: Low IDs uptake in Matabeleland – DailyNews Live

Bridget Mananavire      5 November 2017

HARARE – Members of Parliament’s thematic committee on Peace and Security
have queried why the Matabeleland region recorded low numbers during the
national identity documentation (ID) issuance blitz by the
Registrar-General (RG)’s office.

This comes amid concerns that most people in the region have been failing
to get IDs, with some alleging it is due to most of them not having birth
certificates after having lost their parents and guardians to the
Gukurahundi atrocities.

However, the RG Tobaiwa Mudede argued that the low numbers had nothing to
do with Gukurahundi.

In the 1980s about 20 000 civilians were massacred in Matabeleland and
nearby regions.

Out of the total 393 898 national IDs issued by the RG in September, only
52 911 were from Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Bulawayo.

MDC Senator for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Dorothy Khumalo blamed the
low registration on the strict requirements imposed by the RG, which she
said affected Gukurahundi victims.

“I am seeing Bulawayo has the least registration. You know a lot of them
had their parents who died and they died without them having acquired
birth certificates.

“The relatives have now grown old some have died because of the situation
which happened there. What is going to happen to them? Are they going to
remain like that, because they are even worse than aliens as they can be
given IDs while those ones cannot,” she said during a hearing on
preparedness for 2018 elections on Thursday.

Mudede, however, insists that Gukurahundi was not a factor causing that
but rather rampant issues of people who had migrated to neighbouring South
Africa and leaving them here with old grandparents and relatives.

“We haven’t finished with Matabeleland. I went to Tsholotsho and the
children…dismissed that myth…I addressed them, I had the deputy
minister, I had MPs there. The issue of children who are coming, those old
parents…has been talked about.

“You need to go and talk to the people on the ground, they will tell you
there is nothing like that. We said tell us, who is it who is not
registered after that time (Gukurahundi).

“We have gone for more than 30 years, the same reasons are being used. Our
law says the nearest relative can register. Now those people who are being
talked about, where were they when we had other registrations, this is not
the first time,” Mudede argued.

The senators tasked Mudede to look into other technicalities and
challenges that could be causing the low IDs registration in the region,
arguing the numbers were “astounding” compared to other provinces.

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