By Memory Chamisa
Government is working on a long-term plan to digitalise the registration process for all national documents with applications set to be made online.
A few months ago, the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe had a first-hand experience on what Zimbabweans go through just to get national documents.
The ministry has since contracted partners to supply technology for online services and printing of plastic identity cards.
Giving an update on the current situation, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Aaron Nhepera assured citizens that the December deadline to clear the current backlog will be met.
“We gave teams on the ground who have been working with the partners in ensuring the target is reached as we also are adapting to the systems if the new technology and also trying to decongest our Registrar’s Offices especially Harare,” he said.
While the constitution guarantees the right to birth certificates and other identity documents, the COVID-19 pandemic and health guidelines have also contributed to the backlog as the Registrar General’s office is serving a limited number of people.
“We kindly ask them to attend to more people because this thing of them picking a handful is not working,” said a concerned citizen.
Another said: “They promised us to clear the backlog but it seems we will keep struggling to get the documents.”
The COVID-19 induced lockdown measures have seen the Registrar General’s Offices being overwhelmed, with scores of people flocking to various centres as early as 2am.