Source: The Chronicle (Harare)
Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has identified Gukurahundi, corruption, poverty and negative attitudes from officials as some of the reasons contributing to people in Matabeleland region failing to access national documents.
This emerged yesterday at the end of a five-day ZHRC hearing into why members of the public were failing to access national documents such as birth certificates, national identity cards, passports, and death certificates.
Addressing a media briefing after the completion of the public hearings at a city hotel, ZHRC chairperson Dr Elasto Mugwadi said negative attitudes from civil servants were also contributing to members of the public failing to obtain the requisite national documents.
He said children born outside the country and those taken outside the country using cross border transporters (omalayitsha) are among the worst affected by lack of documentation.
Dr Mugwadi said not having a birth certificate was the most prevalent challenge.
“The main challenges people are facing in accessing national documents are as follows: challenges related to the Gukurahundi disturbances evident in the deliberate withholding of vital information, poverty which results in lack of money to travel to obtain identity documents and pay registration fees and prohibitive citizenship fees pegged at $5 000, negative attitudes and lack of customer care or human rights based service delivery by staff at Government departments such as the Registrar General’s Office and Department of Social Welfare which discourages people from accessing services/documents when they need them,” said Dr Mugwadi.