Source: Call to relax birth registration process | The Herald February 25, 2017
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
There has been a call for the relaxation of requirements for acquiring identity registration such as birth certificates to enable people without parents and aliens, but who have been resident in Zimbabwe for years, easy access to national documents. Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and Defence said there was need to use the retention fund by the Registrar General’s Office to computerise offices to avoid inconveniences to the public, some of whom would have travelled long distances.
While presenting the committee’s report on service delivery by the RG’s office following a countrywide tour it conducted last year, Chirumhanzu-Zibagwe legislator Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa (Zanu-PF) said there were many people affected.
“Your committee was informed that among challenges encountered were situations where clients failed to bring their biological parents when they wanted to register for their primary documents,” she said.
“In such cases, clients were asked to go back to their original homes and bring village heads as was the case of an 18-year-old from Manicaland province who was requested to do so by the officials.”
Cde Mnangagwa said some clients were struggling to meet the required criteria, which in most cases were found to be stringent.
“Such cases were prevalent among aliens who were claiming that they had no relatives to testify for them,” said Cde Mnangagwa.
Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna said his constituency, which was predominantly a mining area, was one of the worst affected with people deemed as aliens who were failing to acquire registration documents despite having resided in Zimbabwe their entire lives.
He said he discovered that thousands of people had no birth certificates in the constituency.
“There is need for a moratorium for children to get birth certificates,” said Cde Nduna. “
Some people who are called aliens have never resided in any other country except Zimbabwe, but are failing to get birth certificates, particularly in my constituency.”
Makoni South MP Cde Mandi Chimene (Zanu-PF) said in her office as Provincial Affairs Minister for Manicaland province, she was being inundated with people with no birth certificates requesting help.
“When I write a letter to the RG’s office in my province, they would be given a long list of requirements, making it difficult to acquire the documents,” she said.
Kuwadzana East MP Mr Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) said it must be mandatory that people be registered both for all other documents at birth through computerisation.
“People should be able to be registered as voters when they take their birth certificates,” he said. “What they simply need to do when they attain 18 years is to go and confirm. One should be given a driver’s licence number at birth, which should just be activated when he passes the certificate of competency.”