Hundreds of ID seekers turned away

Hundreds of national identity document (ID) seekers were Friday morning turned away at the Registrar General’s Offices in Bulawayo as the resource-constrained government department continues to serve a limited number of applicants per day.

CITE witnessed a number of people who had queued as early as before 6am being turned away and told to come and try their luck on Monday when only 80 applicants would be served.

That was after authorities had picked about 60 citizens for both new applications and replacements.

Zimbabweans based in South Africa were the most affected with a number of them set to be returning to the neighbouring country next week.

“Monday would be too late for me because I should be back in South Africa then,” said one man who said he was based south of the Limpopo.

“This country will not be fixed any time soon looking at the way things are.”

Explaining to the disappointed crowd, a man manning the queue said because of the national cleanup campaign day falling on the first Friday of the month, they had to cut down on the number of people to be served.

He also referred applicants to other centres such as Nketa and Pumula, where there is however service disruptions as a result of intermittent power supplies.

Even the early birds had to be given numbers and told to come back for the services at 10 am after the clean-up exercise.

Owing to resource constraints, the department has a serious shortage of consumables with authorities having told ID applicants that the material for producing plastic IDs would last up Monday, meaning from Tuesday onwards ID document seekers would be issued with waiting passes which would later require replacement.

”I am sick and tired of always coming to this place time and again only to be told to come the next day,” complained another man.

“Zimbabwe has become something else. How can we struggle to get something as basic as a national identity document? If I am unsuccessful next time, I will end up going back to my district of origin.”

Another applicant who wanted to change her maiden to marriage surname but could not make it today, told CITE, she had almost won yesterday only to realise while in the queue that she had left behind her marriage certificate.

Getting identity documents such as birth certificates, IDs and passports has become a nightmare for most Zimbabweans with the economic crisis further deepening.

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