Judiciary complicit in Zimbabwe statelessness dilemma

Published: 12/Mar/2024
Source: CAJ News Africa (Centre for African Journalists, South Africa)

From MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe

HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE Zimbabwean High Court has ordered the Registrar-General (RG) to end the statelessness dilemma of two minor children by registering their births and issue them with birth certificates within a week.

The minors, who are aged 10 and 12 years old, had been undocumented since birth and rendered stateless in the land of their birth after RG Henry Machiri withheld the issuance of their birth certificates.

There are demands that their mother’s estranged husband, who left for the United Kingdom (UK) several years ago and whose whereabouts are unknown, should produce a disclaimer affidavit disowning the two girls and also asked their biological father to furnish the RG’s Office with Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) test results confirming the paternity of the children.

The mother of the minor children subsequently entered into a relationship with another man and gave birth to the two girls in 2012 and 2014. This is confirmed in the birth confirmation records from Mpilo Central Hospital and United Bulawayo Hospitals, where the two girls were born.

Over the years, the mother unsuccessfully attempted to process the birth certificates for her children and in her recent attempt, sometime in January 2023, she was advised by authorities at the Bulawayo District Registry, that she must either produce a disclaimer affidavit from her estranged husband confirming that the children are not his or a divorce decree from the High Court or DNA test results confirming the paternity of the children.

However, she was not in possession of any of the required documents leading to the minors living and remaining as undocumented.

Read further: https://www.cajnewsafrica.com/2024/03/12/judiciary-complicit-in-zimbabwe-statelessness-dilema/

Themes: Acquisition by children, Birth Registration, Statelessness
Regions: Zimbabwe
Year: 2024