Source: Newsday (Harare)
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has engaged at least 850 people with question marks around their citizenship in the eight districts of Mashonaland Central province.
By Simbarashe Sithole
Addressing a media briefing in Bindura last week ZHRC deputy chairperson Ellen Sithole said the commission is using public hearings to select witnesses who will testify on challenges being faced by citizens in accessing identity documents.
“The commission is using these meetings to select witnesses for public hearings who will testify on the challenges they face or on behalf of others, relating to identity documents; 445 witness submission forms were received in the province,” Sithole said.
“It was discovered that the issue of citizenship was a major challenge in the farming communities of Muzarabani, Concession, Mvurwi, Shamva and Bindura where the majority of those affected were once considered Aliens.”
Sithole also told journalists that those in the border areas of the province were facing challenges in acquiring birth certificates as a result intermarriages.
“In border areas of Rushinga, Mt Darwin, Mbire, Muzarabani and Guruve, the main challenges cited were failure to access birth certificates, identity cards and citizenship, as a result of intermarriages between people of Mozambican/Zambian and Zimbabwean descent due to proximity of the porous border,” she said.
“Some parents are not registered in any of these countries and eventually generations fail to acquire birth certificates. The commission has also facilitated the transportation of witnesses to the venue to ensure the public hearings are a success.”