Makokoba legislator James Sithole says hundreds of children in his constituency are still struggling to acquire identity documents despite a government waiver in the ongoing registration blitz.
The office of the Registrar-General is currently conducting a three-phase registration exercise which will run until 30 September 2022.
Speaking in Parliament last week, Sithole said the hope of more than two million people needing documentation is vanishing.
“My point of national interest concerns the ongoing national mobile registration exercise, particularly for births and identity registration that have not lived up to the public’s expectations despite the public pronouncement at gatherings by President Mnangagwa. I quote him, ‘Kana waenda kunotora birth certificate kana chitupa; ukanonoka kutaura zita rako, maofficers anokupa rimwe.” This was followed by another statement by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage reassuring that the usual stringent conditions had been relaxed to make it easier for citizens who have failed to get these in the past owing to various reasons,” he said.
“In fact, the hope of more than two million people in need of identification documents is fading out each day that passes.”
Sithole said citizens who lost documents in different circumstances such as fire, theft, and those whose mothers died but cannot produce death certificates, or migrated within or out of the country in search of employment still cannot get documented.
He also added that children who were left in the custody of their grandmothers, and other relatives are also failing to be documented.
“In Makokoba, for example, we have hundreds of children who live with their grandparents and whom, the current cruel system has denied the opportunity to be documented despite it being a constitutional right; and adults, most of whose parents were victims of Gukurahundi, still have no access to documentation.”
“All this is despite the fact that these people are known by their relatives and the community they live in. It is my prayer that the impression given by the President of the willingness to make it easier for citizens to be documented be fulfilled thus upholding the right of every citizen to documentation,” said Sithole.
The legislator also said the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should also see that the conditions are indeed relaxed.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage should also bring a statement to this House, and give an update on the concerns that I have just highlighted,” he said.