By Tichaona Kurewa
THE United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Zimbabwean government for signing continental treaties on civil registry and making significant strides in easing the process of acquiring civil documents through decentralisation of services.
Launched in 2017, the Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (APAI-CRVS) is a regional programme developed after political commitment and policy directives to reform and improve CRV systems on the continent.
Child Protection Manager with UNICEF Zimbabwe, Dr Nyasha Mayanga said, “The importance of civil registration and vital statistics systems across the globe is something that is widely acknowledged and here in Zimbabwe, we commend the government for having signed up to the continental initiative which we call the Africa Programme for Accelerated Improvements of Civil Registry and Vital Statistics.
“We commend the Government of Zimbabwe for taking that step. The Government of Zimbabwe went on to set up the Inter-ministerial Committee on Civil Registry and Vital Statistics. There has been commendable work that has been done to date. This has been a process and the process has been decentralised to cover other regions in Zimbabwe such as Matabeleland North, where we are right now. Zimbabwe is already at an advanced stage in issues to do with digitisation.”
Registrar General, Mr Henry Machiri, emphasised government’s commitment to bringing civil registry services to people’s door steps.
“We are doing all we can to reduce the distance travelled by people when they acquire vital documents. We are decentralising our offices from districts, and opening other sub offices within the same district. Each district must have as many civil registry offices as possible. People should not travel long distances to acquire such documents,” said Mr Machiri.
As part of efforts to accelerate the acquisition of civil documents by Zimbabweans, government launched a mobile registration programme in April which is running until September, focusing on the issuance of birth and death certificates as well as national identity documents.
More than one million people have been documented under this exercise.