Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Communities narrate challenges in getting IDs

by Staff reporter
29 Aug 2019 at 07:35hrs | Views
PUBLIC hearings on the national inquiry on access to documentation in the country are underway in Matabeleland South Province with witnesses giving accounts on challenges faced in accessing the vital documents.

The hearings being conducted by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) started on Tuesday at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Polytechnic in Gwanda and are set to be completed today.  

The ZHRC has held public hearings in three other provinces namely Masvingo, Matabeleland North and Mashonaland Central.

Community members from various districts narrated challenges they were facing in accessing documents. Staff from the Registrar General's office present during the hearings enlightened people on procedures to follow to solve their problems.

Ms Nomvelo Bianca Ndlovu (43) from Fort Rixon said she did not have a birth certificate and National Identity Card and efforts to obtain these documents had been fruitless.

"My father died during the liberation struggle while we were staying in Nkayi. Because of the difficulties during the war my mother fled with me and we settled in Fort Rixon where I'm staying now. Since my father died during the liberation struggle it was difficult for me to obtain a birth certificate and as a result I don't have an ID either," said Ms Ndlovu in tears.

"My mother and I have tried to get the documents several times but without luck as they keep telling me that I have to go to Nkayi where I was born. I have two children aged 10 and 15-year-old and they don't have birth certificates too and it's difficult for me to get these documents for them because I also don't have them myself."  

Ms Senzeni Sine (46) also from Fort Rixon said she was struggling to obtain a passport.  

She said she was born in Zimbabwe but her birth certificate states that she was from Malawi as her father was Malawian.

Ms Sine said she has visited the Registry Office over the matter and was advised to bring her father's death certificate which she does not have.

Mr Alfred Mpengesi said he was looking after his two maternal grandchildren aged 11 and 13 who both do not have birth certificates. He said he did not know the whereabouts of his daughter who was their mother or the children's father.

Speaking during a press briefing before the start of the public hearings ZHRC chairperson, Dr Elasto Hilarious Mugwadi said the commission will conduct public hearings in all the country's 10 provinces until the end of November.

"The main objectives of this national inquiry are to inquire into challenges in accessing national documents and the extent to which they affect people in Zimbabwe.

To determine the factors that hinder easy access to national documents. To assess the impact of lack of documentation on the enjoyment of human rights.

"To review the effectiveness of existing laws, policies, procedures and institutions relating to access to national documents and to formulate recommendations and follow up actions for addressing barriers identified in accessing national documents," he said.

Source - chronicle