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Monday, May 27, 2024

Traditional leaders to issue birth, death records

Story by Sifiso Sibanda

GOVERNMENT has responded to the call to ensure easy access to birth and death records in communal areas by allowing chiefs to issue the critical documents.

Following a realisation that most people in communal areas were having challenges with accessing birth records and death certificates, the government engaged the traditional leaders and subsequently mandated them to issue the documents.

In an interview on the sidelines of an engagement between the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage and the National Chiefs’ Council in Bulawayo this Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Gerald Gwinji said government is happy to work with the traditional leaders in assisting communities access documents on time.

“Having realised that it was difficult for communal people to travel to our offices with witnesses to access these documents, we partnered with traditional leaders so that they are part of the system of issuing birth and death records so that children who are born from homes in villages get their documents from village heads and it’s the same with death records.

“This is a programme that will be operationalised next year because we want to train them first and make sure they have stationary then we start,” said the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Major General (Rtd) Dr Gerald Gwinji.

The development has been welcomed by traditional leaders.

“Since before independence we have always wanted this to happen and finally we have been respected by the government and the people’s dignity will be restored and there is a lot that will be archived through this programme,” said National Chiefs Council President, Chief Fortune Charumbira.

Training of traditional leaders on the process is underway as the government seeks to ensure that issuance of these important documents is done in accordance with the law.

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