ZHRC to report on documentation inquiry

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) is set to launch a report that will guide the country in addressing issues to do with access to national documentation before the end of this month.

The commission last year conducted a national inquiry into challenges faced by citizens in accessing documents such as the birth certificates, national identity card, passports, citizenship and even death certificates for their loved ones.

During the inquiry, ZHRC observed that while some people had genuine challenges with regards to access to documents, attitudes and lack of a human face by Registrar General’s Office employees was also contributing to some people failing to obtain the national documents.

The human rights body set an end of 2020 target to address issues to do with some of the country’s citizens being stateless.

A stateless person is someone who does not have requisite national documents, and is not recognised anywhere in the country and most of the time is deprived from accessing state supported programme.

ZHRC chairperson Dr Elasto Mugwadi said financial challenges have delayed the commission in presenting its situational findings.

The findings are expected to guide the Government in addressing issues relating to access to documentation.

“We ran out of resources or funds. We would have wanted to complete the printing of the research around March and this has been delayed. And again the Covid-19 lockdown and in our own context, resulted in developmental partners not being able to move at the speed that we expected. So we have pushed it and we are likely to launch the report before the end of this month,” said Dr Mugwadi.

He said the commission is still receiving complaints on the behaviour of Registrar General’s Office employees, as they seem to be struggling to provide services to the public.-@nqotshili

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