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Review policies on access to IDs, Parliament told

by Staff reporter
26 Mar 2019 at 14:14hrs | Views
Stakeholders in Gwanda have called for a review of laws and policies relating to the issuance of identity documents amid revelations that thousands of people have failed to access birth certificates and ID cards in Matabeleland South province.

Following a petition sent by the Gwanda Youth Development Trust to the Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Service highlighting the challenges faced by locals in accessing identity documents, the policy makers descended on Gwanda this Monday to gather facts on the matter.

The committee heard testimonies from individuals who have failed to write their national examinations, participate in sporting competitions and access relief aid due to lack of identity documents.

The system has neither been lenient to those who lost their documents during hazards or disturbances such as those of the 1980s, added some participants.

"I do not have a birth certificate because I do not know the whereabouts of my father. The painful thing is that I have failed to write my Ordinary Level examinations because of this," said one participant, Nobuhle.

"I am a South African who came here without any documents, I have tried several times to get identity cards for my seven children without luck," said one Ms Tlou.

Among some of the solutions proffered by the Gwanda Youth Development Trust is the need to review existing laws to enable access to important documents such as birth and death certificates, national identity cards and passports.

"We need an overhaul of polices, the Registrar General's office should be changed to suit what is happening within our communities. We need policies that resonate with what is happening now. Surely why should it be difficult as a Zimbabwean to get these documents," said Ms Linda Mpofu of the Gwanda Community Youth Development Trust.

The Chairperson of the committee Retired Brigadier General Levi Mayihlome conceded that the challenges faced by the people in accessing national documents are immense, hence recommendations will be made on how best to address the issue.

"This seems like a very serious problem. We feel that the RG's office should do some introspection. Some laws and policies would have to change so that people can get documents promptly," said Retired Brigadier General Mayihlome.

In 2017, the Community Youth Development Trust and 13 other organisations conducted a survey which revealed that many in the province were unable to access identity documents.

Source - zbc