45 years without an ID: a mother’s endless battle for Zim citizenship

Published: 14/Jun/2022
Source: New Zimbabwe (Harare)

Like stray animals, they wander through life without a sense of belonging.

This is the story of undocumented Zimbabweans, whose existence is not recognised even after decades living in the southern African country.

Outside Boka tobacco sorting house in Hopley, a dozen women and men sit on anything they can find as they impatiently wait for the foreman to give them a day’s work.

To be considered as casual labour, one needs to have an identity document.

It is tobacco selling season, and it has come as a relief for job seekers in Hopley farm. Hopley, a poor settlement just outside Harare. It is made up of families of migrants, many of whom remain undocumented, 42 years after independence.

But Esther Manyinyo, 45, is using her cousin’s ID to find work. Their resemblance often confuses the foreman, so she survives to fight another day.

Her existence in Zimbabwe is unknown.

Manyinyo is second generation of stateless Zimbabweans in her family after her father moved to Southern Rhodesia in 1966 to find work.

Read further: https://www.newzimbabwe.com/45-years-without-an-id-a-mothers-endless-battle-for-zim-citizenship/

Themes: Identity Documents, Statelessness
Regions: Zimbabwe
Year: 2022