Felex Share Senior Reporter
THE Registrar-General’s Office has issued 287 300 identity cards since September 4, with Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede warning his officials against charging fees to those in need of civil documents. Mr Mudede said his department had withdrawn all receipt books countrywide to ensure no official charged citizens to acquire the critical documents. Government waived all charges for civil documents in the 90-day period the RG’s office will be carrying out its registration blitz.
The blitz, which started on September 4, is in preparation of next year’s harmonised elections. It will end on November 30. Mr Mudede said: “All our mobile and static registration teams were instructed from September 20 not to charge any fees for birth and death certificates, as well as national identity documents as previously announced.
“If anybody at any of our teams is still charging, the public should give us details of the centre and identity details of the particular person. We, in addition, withdrew all receipt books from the teams countrywide to cause compliance by our officers. So far, the mobile registration exercise has been going on well. We are encouraging people to take advantage of the exercise and register.”
He said as of October 10, 287 341 national identity cards and 313 551 birth certificates had been issued out. The department has also issued 9 820 death certificates. Mr Mudede said his department will continue with rigorous vetting of applicants before granting the civil documents.
“The verification process to determine whether or not one is a bona fide citizen of Zimbabwe will continue to be enforced, particularly in areas that are known to be inhabited by foreigners such as Epworth and border areas,” he said.
There were some complaints that the department’s insistence on fingerprints was “too bureaucratic, restrictive and unnecessary”. A number of refugees have been caught trying to fraudulently obtain the documents. Metal identity cards are also being replaced during the exercise, with people getting polythene-synthetic identity cards that have enhanced security features.