Man with ‘cursed name’ sues Registrar-General Mudede
A BULAWAYO man who is ashamed of his “unlucky” name has taken the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths, Mr Tobaiwa Mudede to court for allegedly refusing to issue him with a new birth certificate bearing a new first name.
Mr Bayanai Tshuma whose name means ‘stab each other’ in Shona, through his lawyer, Mr Job Sibanda, on Thursday filed an application at the Bulawayo High Court citing Mr Mudede as the respondent.
Mr Tshuma, who is based in South Africa, said as a result of the “cursed” name, he continuously suffered bad luck and wants his name changed to Norman.
He said he was born on January 7 in 1963 at Mpilo Central Hospital and his birth was registered at the Bulawayo registry offices on November 22 in 1969 under the name Bayanai.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Tshuma is seeking an order compelling Mr Mudede to issue him with a new birth certificate bearing his new name.
“I have, over the last few years, been to the provincial registrar’s offices in Bulawayo in an effort to apply for change of forename,” he said.
Mr Tshuma said he went to the same office three times and was advised that the change of name will only be possible if he engaged the services of a lawyer, which he later did.
He said two years ago, his lawyer wrote to the Registrar-General’s Office indicating that according to section 18(2) (a) of the Births and Deaths Registrations Act, one can change their name.
Mr Tshuma said the lawyers asked the Registrar General’s Office to assist him, but the officials advised him against changing his first name at the age of 50 years, saying that would cause a lot of inconvenience, as his properties were registered under the old name.
“The respondent and his office are mistaken in their interpretation of the law. The registrar said I’m too old to change my name. I therefore seek an order compelling the respondent to issue me, upon payment of the statutory fee and lodging the appropriate form, with a new birth certificate reflecting my new forename,” said Mr Tshuma.
In 2013, Mr Tshuma obtained a High Court order compelling the Registrar-General of Births and Deaths to issue him with an amended birth certificate. However, when he went to the Bulawayo registry offices, he said that he was attended to by a lady who told him that she was sending his file to Harare for amendments to be made.
“A few weeks later, I went back to the provincial registry offices to find out if the amendment had been made and the provincial registrar told me that the Registrar-General had refused to make the amendments,” he said.
Mr Mudede has not yet responded.