Source: The Herald (Harare)
By Cletus Mushanawani, Mashonaland Central Bureau Chief
IT is an offence not to register a child within 42 days of birth and more needs to be done by way of publicity to ensure people know the importance of the requirement, Mashonaland Central provincial registrar Mr Tafadzwa Nyandoro has said.
Appearing before the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission’s Mashonaland Central National Inquiry on Access to Documentation in Zimbabwe in Bindura on Tuesday, Mr Nyandoro said less than five percent of birth registrations were being done within the 42-day period.
“According to the Births and Deaths Registration Act, it is an offence not to register a child within 42 days of its birth,” he said.
Sadly, very few people know of this requirement and the few that do will not bother to take heed. “Other known factors which prevent ease of access to the birth certificate include inaccessibility of registration offices, especially to rural communities. In Mashonaland Central, we have one provincial office, eight district offices and 22 sub-offices.
“While this is commendable, sadly these are not sufficient. In the last 10 years, we have only had two mobile registration exercises due to resource constraints.” Mr Nyandoro said they were facing challenges in establishing the actual nationalities of people who lived along border areas.
“In areas bordering Zambia and Mozambique, especially in Mbire, Muzarabani, Mt Darwin and Rushinga, there are communities who live along the border line and it is often difficult to establish their actual nationality,” he said.
Parents may be from different sides of the border and they do not hold travel documents and neither do they cross the border procedurally.