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Hundreds prospective voters turned away for not having National IDs

by Stephen Jakes
22 Sep 2017 at 06:46hrs | Views
Hundreds of people trying to register to vote are being turned away in Matobo district for not having national identity particulars in an area which was hard hit by the Gukurahundi genocide in the 1980s. Many families in the area were disadvantaged when their parents were killed.

This was revealed by Mthwakazi Republic Party leader Mqondisi Moyo who visited the area, which is his home village, to observe how the registration process was conducted.

"Villagers forced to pay huge sums of money to get new IDs. In a very surprising move by the Zanu PF government to deprive Matabeleland voters of their right to vote, Khezi District officers stationed at Gwandavale on a government mobile registration program are charging villagers money to get new IDs and birth certificates. Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede stressed a point during a press conference in Harare that the process is done to ensure people get the documents ahead of next year's general," he said.

"I quote, " Authority has been granted for the waiver of fees by Treasury today 19 September 2017. The waiver is in terms of Section 78(1) of the Public Finance Management Act (chapter 22:09) and will cover the following; national registration identity documents (initial and replacement, birth certificates (initial and replacement), death certificates (initial and replacement) and citizenship by descent (persons born in Zimbabwe one of whose parents is a citizen by birth), he said. "

He said it is this authority that we have been waiting for which comes into effect on September 20, 2017 at 7am and ending on November 30, 2017.

He said the Registrar General's officers countrywide are accordingly notified.

"The waiver was in response to a plea by the public that the charges were exorbitant. The fees charged by the Registrar- General's office ranged between $5 and $10 for replacing national identification cards," he said.

Moyo and other Senior members of the Party had to rush to Gwandavale on a call that villagers have been turned away and ordered to go back home and look for money needed to acquire those particulars, some were asked to pay up to US$20 to get a National ID replacement.

"We made these villagers pay money as per instruction from Khezi office, we didn't know that the government has ruled that we mustn't charge them", claimed one lady who was in charge whom they called MaNcube One lady aged 63, was turned back without getting any service and was asked where was she all these years and is now old to get a new birth certificate," Moyo said.

"Many villagers who wanted to acquire birth certificates for their children were turned away without any help. Many were told to go all the way to Mtshabezi hospital to look for birth records since Gwandavale has no Maternity hospital. This is a clear sign that Zanu PF doesn't want the people of Matabeleland to acquire National IDs so that they may register as voters. The evil regime sent thugs to Matabeleland masquerading as registry officials to threaten people and discourage them not to vote in numbers."

He said one lady told them that officials carrying mobile registration have no time for them, they are just there to collect their hard earned money and thereafter they instruct them to go to Khezi to fill up forms.

 "So whats the purpose of these people coming here, we thought they are here to help us get particulars but they are untouchable," said one villager who lost his ID on a fire accident and had been asked to pay US$20.

Mphorofethi Ncube an elderly man whose around 70 years whose hut was burnt during Gukurahundi and had everything burnt in the house including the national metal ID that he showed up to these officers was amongst those who were turned away even if he had brought the burnt metal ID and a diptank book as a proof of identify and the seven officers demanded the $20 on the 19th of September.

He said it took the MRP leadership to order the reverse of that decision when they had brought the government gazette which stipulated that within these three months of voter registration all the charges have been waived.

These seven officials agreed to reverse charges and even said that they didn't have the government gazette with them and this irked MRP President who asked them why did they leave Khezi offices without instrument.

Moyo asked them why were they in Khezi after he gave them the gazette copies to the seven officials, surprisingly some villagers were made to pay without issuance of receipts and they were later refunded through the intervention of MRP.

Albert Nyathi known as Mbirwa by the villagers was amongst those turned away also even if he produced a proof as well that his metal ID was also burnt during Gukurahundi.

"The officials couldn't assist him but had demanded a payment of $20 and the President and his team had to send some boys to go to his home and call him to come to the school to be assisted as the President had also asked one young boy to rush to Mphorofethi Ncube's homestead to come back and be served without making these payments," Moyo said.

"The villagers also complained that these officials will be there for three days since they came on Monday evening and started work on Tuesday morning and will be leaving today and the officials were not friendly but resorted to harassing parents and old women were told to go and look for the mothers of children even if they don't know where they are."

He said some of the turned away children are writing final grade seven examinations due to start next month.
Other elderly women with abazukulu abalabonina based in SA were told, "lina bogogo go and fetch your children from SA badingani khonale. We are not going to assist you here".

He said one shona official guy called a young girl, "woza lapha wena rapa wena mkharadi", because the girl is very light and asked where her mother is and the young girl being accompanied by her granny innocently replies my mother is in SA.

"The official mocks the young girl and say go and bring your mother from SA we are not going to assist you here. The same officials were in Lushumbe on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and left for Gwandavale on Monday afternoon. Lushumbe villagers complained about the harassments from these officials and were also made to pay amount ranging from $5- $20, some monies without receipts issued. One married lady with her husband in South Africa wanted to acquire birth certificate for her children," Moyo said.

"She had marriage certificate with her and was told to pay $4 and thereafter go to Khezi office. Many villagers cried over their monies that were collected and were not even given some receipts and moreover, services. Parents who gave birth in their homes were not assisted as they were told to produce birth records even if they had village heads and other witnesses, the officials couldn't listen to them. Mtshabezi hospital which is 25km from Gwandavale is the nearby hospital and during rain season villagers can't cross Thuli river because it will be flooded hence some of the births take place in homes."

He said parents having given birth at Mtshabezi hospital were denied to access births and IDs and were told to go to UMzingwane since Mtshabezi falls under uMzingwane. But to the surprise of many villagers of Gwandavale ,officials at uMzingwane district mobile registration were assisted without harassment and no one was turned away including elderly parents without IDs and births.

"They were expeditiously assisted whereas Matobo North and uMzingwane district falls under Mat south province but the officials appeared to be having different instructions from their superiors which reflected a lot of confusion from this exercise. The instrument we produced to the officials and parents helped caused the officials to stop charging and refund some of the parents who were not receipted," Moyo said.

"Three village heads Ngwenya, and two Ncubes thanked the intervention by the MRP leadership as they stated that the efforts by them as traditional leaders had hit a brick wall as these govt officials were very rude.Ngwenya had to say "siyalibonga ngokufika kwenu lapha lokusimela, izinkokheli ezinjengani azisekho kwelakithi. Siyalibonga singamaSobhuku eSwene village".

Moyo said parents assisted by the MRP leadership were so much happy and some of them were heard chanting Asifuni Bumbulu lapha Yithi Abantu after the leadership had successful come to their rescue.

"MRP as a people's party condemns in strongest terms the inhumane treatment that this government continues to display against the people of Matabeleland. We know these are rigging tactics by Zanu PF," Moyo said.

 Gwandavale is the home area to President Mqondisi Moyo.

Source - Byo24News

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