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Govt given 7-day ultimatum over IDs backlog

by Staff reporter
30 Jun 2021 at 17:19hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Lawyers of Human Rights (ZLHR) has given the acting Registrar-General Henry Machiri a seven-day ultimatum to provide a plan on how his department will clear a backlog on national identity cards.

Recently, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said government was facing a shortage of consumables to issue the documents and was limiting the number of applicants, giving priority to schoolchildren and urgent cases.

Most pupils failed to acquire identity cards when government had set aside June 26 and 27 for all candidates to acquire the identity cards.

The exercise was marred with chaos and disorder at various registry offices throughout the country which prompted government to suspend the exercise.

In a letter dated June 28 addressed to the Registrar-General, the lawyers said they would take legal action against government if it fails to respond to their demand within seven days.

"In our view, the issue goes beyond the issue of registration for the Zimsec examination as evidence shows that there are many citizens who do not have national identity documents because of shortages from your office," part of the letter read.

On the same date, the lawyers petitioned the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) to extend the registration deadline for the 2021 O and A-Level examinations to allow candidates to obtain their national identity cards.

The lawyers also wrote to Zimsec asking the examination body to waive the requirement of an identity card from the candidates.

Registration for examinations closes on July 13, 2021 at Zimsec, while most schools have set July 5 as their deadline.

"We are advised that, and we understand that one of the requirements for successful registration and sitting of the Zimsec O and A-Level examinations that the candidates must have a national identity card whose credentials match the credentials and details provided by the individual candidate in order to verify the identity of candidates.

"However due to challenges mainly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that a significant portion of candidates due to sit for their 2021 Ordinary level examinations are yet to acquire their national identity cards and hence are not in a proper position to sit for their examinations if your regulations are anything to go by," ZLHR said.

"In our considered view the shortage of national identity cards will impede and hinder learners from sitting for their 2021 examinations and thus violating their right to education."

Source - newsday

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