Saturday, 2 April 2022

HUGE TURNOUT FOR BIRTHS REGISTRATION

THE mobile registration exercise aimed at issuing more than two million birth and death certificates as well as national identity documents started countrywide yesterday with a huge turnout as people thronged various centres to acquire the primary documents.

The exercise is part of efforts by Government to ensure all citizens have access to primary documents.

The exercise is in line with the dictates of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and has also been planned to coincide with the forthcoming national census and next year’s harmonised elections.

In Bulawayo, Chronicle visited Entumbane Hall and Milton Junior School and observed residents, a majority of them youths, queuing to access the vital documents.

Officials who spoke to Chronicle said the process went on smoothly with an overwhelming response from members of the public.

The static centres in Bulawayo include Tredgold Civil Registry Office, Emsitheli at Drill Hall, Nketa and Pumula housing offices and Mpilo Central Hospital.

There are also mobile centres that would be issuing documents at selected schools, community halls among others.

Mrs Grace Ndlovu of Entumbane suburb commended the Government for launching the blitz, saying it will go a long way in addressing challenges faced by citizens in terms of acquiring identity documents.

“For the past three years, I have been struggling to acquire a national identity document after I lost one.

Each time I visited the Civil Registry Offices, I would get so many excuses after having queued for hours until I gave up,” she said.

“Today, I am glad I finally got the ID and you can imagine how excited I am.”

Kent Mubirwa (18) could not contain his joy as he held his identity document as he left Entumbane Hall.

“I am so happy after securing a national identity document, which enables me to vote next year. I wanted to vote in the just ended by-elections, but couldn’t because I didn’t have the requisite documents.

I have been going to EMsitheli almost every day and at times sleeping in the queue, but there was no joy,” he said.

“When I heard about this exercise, I told myself that this was my only chance to get an ID. I woke up early thinking there would be a long queue, but it wasn’t the case.”

Miss Jane Ndlovu said: “The queues are moving fast and so far, we haven’t faced any challenges because the officials are attending to us in a swift manner and I am looking forward to getting my ID for the first time in my life.

The ID will enable me to open a bank account and vote next year.”

“Without an ID, you can’t do anything in life, so we laud Government for introducing this programme.’

Mr Luckson Dube of Suburbs said he had been queuing at the local Civil Registry Department offices for months without accessing the identity documents.

In Bulawayo, three teams were deployed at Milton Junior School, Entumbane Hall and Manondwane Primary School in Nketa suburb.

Authorities in Lupane, Hwange and Victoria Falls said they expected the number of people seeking to get identity documents to start increasing.

There was increased activity in Victoria Falls yesterday as more people turned up seeking to get birth certificates and national identity documents, according to officials from the registry office.

Speaking in Binga recently, President Mnangagwa implored the Home Affairs Ministry to decentralise the registration exercise to wards and respective chiefs especially in Binga for scores of unregistered youths to get identity documents. Chronicle

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