Mkhululi Ncube, Chronicle Reporter
THE media can be a power for good! This rings true to Mrs Bekiwe Dube (67) of Gwambe Village in Bulilima District in Matabeleland South Province who is now a living testimony to the statement.
Mrs Dube had two struggles: getting her six-year-old granddaughter Simphiwe Dube a birth certificate and enrolling her at school. This has all changed after a story highlighting Simphiwe’s failure to attend school as she did not have a birth certificate was published by Chronicle last month.
Simphiwe was born in South Africa and only came to the country after her mother’s death.
Mrs Dube failed to get her a birth certificate as officials from the Registrar General’s Offices wanted her to produce a birth record which she could not get in South Africa where Simphiwe’s late mother used to work.
“I was told I could get her the birth certificate in Bulawayo for R1 000 through illegal means, but I cannot afford to raise that amount,” Mrs Dube said in an interview in January.
She tried in vain to enrol her at Gwambe Primary School just as she had tried without success to obtain her a Zimbabwean birth certificate.
After Chronicle ran her story, Government officials visited the school and the grandmother. They helped get her in class and obtain a birth certificate.
“I am coming from the school as I am talking to you right now I left Simphiwe in a classroom with other pupils. I am relieved and very excited because her continued stay at home was worrying me greatly,” said the elated grandmother last month.
Now, her struggle of obtaining a birth certificate is over.
The Social Welfare Department sent officials to Mrs Dube’s homestead and assisted her fill all the documents at the comfort of her home.
“Officials from the Social Welfare Department came all the from Plumtree and assisted me to fill the forms and some affidavits last week and they phoned me on Thursday telling me to come and collect it as it was now ready.
“It is just that I am now old but if I was still young, I believe I would gain some weight because some heavy load has been lifted off my body. Even Simphiwe at her young age is so happy about what has happened.
“This has changed her life and I just hope she will learn and grow up to be someone in life,” she said.
Government is next month expected to launch a mobile blitz which will see around two million identity cards and birth certificates being issued. — @themkhust