Source: The Chronicle (Bulawayo)
By Nqobile Tshili
National identity documents such as a birth certificate and a national identity card confirm an individual’s citizenship. People who do not have such documents are considered stateless. According to international law, a stateless person is someone who is not legally recognised and does not enjoy citizenship of any country.
Mrs Rose Moyo, who is in her late 60s, is an example of such a stateless citizen. Mrs Moyo is a San from Tsholotsho and has never had a birth certificate and an ID, meaning she cannot benefit from Government assistance programmes.
This is despite the fact that she is among the most deserving beneficiaries of such programmes given that most members of the San community are poor. Mrs Moyo said lack of these important documents was a challenge not just to the present generation but even their forefathers did not have the documents.
The problem of Mrs Moyo and many others who were in the same predicament, is now a thing of the past after Government initiated a programme to ensure that all members of the San community get national documents.
On 13 September, the Registrar General’s Office will roll out a mobile national registration exercise for the San community. Government says it has removed all the bottlenecks that have been inhibiting easy access to national documents such as asking applicants to bring witnesses.