Source: The Herald (Harare)
Tendai Rupapa-Senior Reporter
FIRST LADY Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday held a first of its kind heart-to-heart interactive session with the mixed race community during which she inclined an ear to the challenges they face, and proffered tangible solutions where possible.
This comes amid concerns that the mixed race community had become reclusive and was not participating in the country’s mainstream activities, hence the First Lady’s move to engage them.
As part of the interactive session, the First Lady was assisted by experts from various ministries to provide appropriate answers to concerns raised.
The group’s director of operations, Mrs Maureen Charles-Mparadzi, highlighted the identity crisis that members of her community face.
“We have a major issue concerning our identity. The 00 at the end of our IDs excludes us from access to land, and some employment opportunities. If we could have the 00 addressed because 00 is not unique to the mixed race community, it’s actually a national issue and many people are crying about this identity crisis because I will tell you my personal experience.
“I was born in Zimbabwe, my mother is South African but when I went to apply for a passport, I had my passport all the time. When my passport expired in 2011, I was told to renounce my rights to South Africa. I had to go to the South African embassy to renounce my rights to South Africa and when I went back to the Passport Office, I was made a citizen of Zimbabwe at the age of 62 whereas I feel having been born in Zimbabwe, I should have become a Zimbabwean at birth. This identity is a big issue for us. We want to be indigenous Zimbabweans; we want to be Zimbabweans first. We do not want to be on the sidelines always complaining. Now that our mother the First Lady is here today, we have faith that she will ensure that our challenges are addressed through the relevant channels. We want to thank her for coming up with the idea to engage us,” she said.