Legislators concerned over issuance of ‘unacceptable’ paper IDs

Legislators have expressed concern over the issuing of temporary paper national identity documents (IDs) which are not accepted anywhere.

The Department of the Registrar-General is currently conducting a mobile issuing of birth certificates and IDs countrywide following a public outcry on undocumented thousands of citizens as a result of Covid-19 and inefficiencies within the civil registry.

The six-month mobile documentation exercise kicked off on April 1 and is set to end on September 30, 2022.

Apart from failing to serve all the citizens who flock to the registration centres on advertised dates, officials from the registry offices are issuing temporary national IDs.

“We realise that in most areas where these teams were giving identity documents, they were giving temporary paper identity documents and these temporary paper identity documents are unacceptable in most areas where identity documents are required,” said Binga North legislator, Prince Dubeko Sibanda in the National Assembly Wednesday.

“Are there any efforts from the Ministry to ensure that they give permanent plastic identity cards to these new identity card registrants?”

In her response, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Deputy Minister, Ruth Mavhunga-Maboyi said when the exercise began, they were giving temporary cards but they have since started issuing out plastic identity cards.

“We hope again, as I said by September, we will have completed everything,” she unconvincingly said.

Glen View North legislator, Fani Munengami probed Mavhunga-Maboyi further.

“The blitz on identity cards registration is ending on the 30th of September and they are giving the temporary identity documents, then the Hon. Minister said again by that date on the 30th September, they would have produced the plastic identity cards. So, what happens to the others who were given before the 30th of September because as of now, they are issuing paper identity documents? Already we are left with no more than two or three months now up to September. How is that possible – that is impossible?”

Mavhunga-Maboyi responded: “We are not giving metal identity documents, the plastic ones – we gave temporary IDs with photos but now we are going to make a follow up and issue out the plastic identity cards. That will be done by September, 2022.”

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