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Govt suspends shambolic ID registration exercise

THE issuance of national identity documents for examination candidates had to be suspended last weekend after the offices were overwhelmed due to huge turnout, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ruth Mavhunga-Maboyi has stated.

Responding to MPs’ questions during the Question and Answer session in Parliament, Wednesday,  Dep Minister Mavhunga-Maboyi said due to the huge turnout, registry offices got overwhelmed and failed to serve everyone.

In Bulawayo, scores of people (exam candidates and candidates) swarmed the registry offices around the city as they tried to attain national identity documents.

This followed a call by the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) in February this year that all sitting candidates should have identity documents for them to write their examinations.

Adults who have unable able to attain their identity documents seized the opportunity and came out in numbers too.

“It is true that children were supposed to be issued with IDs on Saturday and Sunday but even the adults attended.  So most of our offices were overwhelmed and they failed to serve everyone,” said Mavhunga-Maboyi.

“They were no longer observing social distance.  A lot of people came forth and they were not putting on face masks. This then led to a situation whereby only a few children managed to be issued with IDs.”

She said due to the huge turnout most of the centres ran out of consumables.

“The fact that the adults attended on days meant for the children made it difficult for some children to be issued with IDs. They are allowed to go during the week to be issued with IDs and no one is supposed to be chased away. The problem is that people congest when there is such an exercise,” she said.

“What is also to be noted is that we had stopped issuing IDs for some time for lack of materials.  Saturday and Sunday were meant for serving children but people attended in large numbers and made it impossible for us to serve only the children properly.”

The Deputy Minister noted that her ministry is incapacitated to go to schools and issue the documents from there.

“The suggestion that we go to schools to issue children with IDs is impossible because we cannot ferry our machinery to every school.  These machines are old and they cannot cover the whole nation.  If it was possible that our Ministry had portable machines, we could try.  It is also our wish that everyone gets an ID and sit for their examinations.”

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