Govt waives charges on civil doc­u­ments

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Tendai Mu­gabe Harare Bureau

GOVERN­MENT has waived all charges re­quired to ac­quire civil doc­u­ments such as iden­tity cards or birth cer­tifi­cates dur­ing the 90-day reg­is­tra­tion blitz by the of­fice of the Regis­trar Gen­eral to al­low more peo­ple to get the doc­u­ments ahead of next year’s gen­eral elec­tions.

Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Dr Ig­natius Chombo told our Harare Bureau last night that the waiver was in re­sponse to a plea from the pub­lic that the charges were too ex­or­bi­tant.

The fees charged by the Regis­trar Gen­eral’s Of­fice have been rang­ing be­tween $5 and $10 for re­plac­ing na­tional iden­tity cards.

“The re­sponse from the pub­lic is that the 90-day civil reg­is­tra­tion blitz by the RG’s of­fice is a good pro­gramme, but the con­cern is that the $10 be­ing charged for lost IDs and $5 for lost birth cer­tifi­cates and $50 for aliens is too high,” said Dr Chombo.

“The re­quest from all the prov­inces was that can this be waived so that peo­ple can get birth cer­tifi­cates and IDs. We have de­cided that for the du­ra­tion of the blitz, all civil doc­u­ments will be ob­tained for free, even those who lost.

“Some are say­ing they do not need to be asked too many ques­tions be­fore be­ing is­sued with th­ese doc­u­ments, but the of­fi­cers on the ground will use their dis­cre­tion to ask those ques­tions. Th­ese are se­cu­rity doc­u­ments and they should be is­sued ju­di­ciously.

“Of course, it will not make sense to ask a 72-year-old per­son to bring his or her par­ents, but vil­lage heads or other lead­ers in so­ci­ety can tes­tify that they know that per­son. Some of the bu­reau­cracy will be re­duced, but ex­tra care will be taken.”

Last week, Regis­trar Gen­eral Mr Tobaiwa Mud­ede said: “Ev­ery­thing is in place. Every prov­ince now has the itin­er­ar­ies. We ap­peal to all cit­i­zens to come for­ward and reg­is­ter for per­sonal doc­u­ments. On the turn out so far, we still have to check. We are not yet get­ting fig­ures daily be­cause peo­ple were set­ting up.”

Mr Mud­ede said for one to reg­is­ter for a par­tic­u­lar doc­u­ment, cer­tain re­quire­ments had to be met as pre­scribed by the law.

“We reaf­firm that cit­i­zens should bring with them the birth con­fir­ma­tion records from health in­sti­tu­tions and their iden­tity doc­u­ment to en­able them to reg­is­ter their chil­dren for birth cer­tifi­cates,” he said.

“For those reg­is­ter­ing for na­tional iden­tity doc­u­ments, they should pro­duce their birth cer­tifi­cates. Those who do not meet the said reg­is­tra­tion re­quire­ments should not de­lay the reg­is­tra­tion process.

“We have our friends — for­eign­ers and aliens who are here. Some have en­tered through im­mi­gra­tion points and have been in this coun­try for some time. There is time which is statu­to­rily pro­vided for them. The pro­ce­dure is that they will come to our of­fices not mo­bile of­fices.

“When they come, we do checks to­gether with the im­mi­gra­tion de­part­ment, the time pro­vided by the law they have stayed in this coun­try. If they clear them­selves through im­mi­gra­tion, they come we give them forms and af­ter com­ple­tion, there are checks and the vet­ting pro­cesses we go through.

“This is in­ter­na­tional. There is no coun­try on earth that just gives cit­i­zen­ship. Af­ter vet­ting they will then be granted cit­i­zen­ship. This time of three months (of na­tional mo­bile reg­is­tra­tion) does not fin­ish that busi­ness. Those who would like to have their cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus reg­u­larised must come through our of­fices. Cit­i­zen­ship is not de-cen­tralised, it is cen­tralised.”

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