Rights commission descends on Gweru

Locadia Mavhudzi Midlands Correspondent
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has descended on Midlands Province to mobilise communities to participate in a national programme targeted at improving access to critical documents.

There are indications that many people in resettlement areas and border areas do not have national documents, especially birth certificates.

Speaking at a provincial stakeholders meeting last week, ZHRC national enquiry coordinator, Ms Gorretti Mudzongo, said the programme seeks to identify the challenges faced by citizens in accessing national documents such as birth certificates, national identity cards, passports and death certificates.

“Under section 243(1) (j) of the constitution, the ZHRC is mandated to conduct research into issues relating to human rights, freedoms, and social justice,” said Ms Mudzongo.

“To fulfil this critical function, we are conducting a national enquiry on access to documentation in Zimbabwe.

“We will be going to all the provinces and later cascade to hotspots mainly resettlement and border areas where there is a huge concentration of people without national documents.”

Midlands provincial administrator Mr Abiot Maronge said the national documentation programme will go a long way in providing solid data for the programming of social and economic activities under the national devolution programme.

“Access to documentation is a critical element in the devolution agenda,” he said.

“Planning for economic development programmes is made easier when we have correct data about the people in Gokwe North or Mberengwa.

“People without national documents are left out in critical programmes such as access to education or food from Government or donor supported programmes.

One cannot access formal employment without proper documents.”

Chief Mposi of Mberengwa said the programme has come at an opportune time when the traditional leadership has been trying to assist people who don’t have identity documents.

“We are grateful that the programme is now coming to the people,” he said.

“We often get assisted towards national elections when the registrar general’s office conducts mass registration.

“Child headed families are usually the worst affected in terms of birth certificates.”

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