The Member of Parliament for Mbizo constituency Settlement Chikwinya has commended the ongoing mobile registration blitz but says it lacks adequate awareness.
The nationwide programme to issue identity cards and birth certificates to Zimbabweans that are undocumented started this month through mobile teams from the civil registry dispatched around the country.
According to Chikwinya, not many people are aware that the government is carrying out the exercise.
“The registration blitz or the national identity documents and birth certificates registration is going on in Mbizo but I must say it would have been better if there had been enough publicity accessible to the people. I understand that the Ministry of Home Affairs has used largely print media to advertise but most of the people in our communities are no longer accessing print media and therefore I would urge the ministry to use social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and also electronic media to reach out to the people.”
The legislator also suggested that the civil registry should “partner with local authorities and use fire brigade vehicles to go into communities with hailers” to inform them about centres where the issuance of documents was being done.
He said he had visited some of the centres in Mbizo and the civil registry teams were working “flat out” to ensure people get ID documents and added that more people should be made aware of the exercise.
“People do not even know that there is this important exercise going on so it`s sad that it`s going to be a time lost as people will then realise after the mobile teams have passed that there was such an important exercise going on. So, I urge the Home Affairs to increase its publicity and advocacy so that everyone is assisted during this exercise,” Chikwinya said.
The civil registry has said that it targeted issuing two million national identity documents to Zimbabweans that do not have the required registration records.
The mobile registration blitz came after concerns were raised in the run-up to the 26 March 2022 by-elections that voter registration was being hampered by a lack of national identity documents within the Zimbabwean population. According to Amnesty International, an estimated 300,000 Zimbabweans are locked out of citizenship in the southern African country.