Christopher Charamba Herald Reporter
Metal identity cards are still valid and authentic, but the public is advised to replace them with polythene-synthetic identity cards which have enhanced security features, Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede said on Thursday.
Clarifying the misconceptions by opposition parties and private media, Mr Mudede said if the metal identity cards were to become invalid, his department would issue a statutory instrument to that effect.
“The Registrar-General has no intentions to scrap or do away with the metal identity card as it is already in circulation,” he said. “Members of the public are also informed that the department of the Registrar-General has been issuing polythene-synthetic identity cards for a long time.
“As such, the Registrar-General of civil registration has the right to advise and encourage the public to replace the metal identity document with the polythene synthetic card, which has enhanced security features.
“This does not mean that the metal identity document will not be valid. If it were the intention, the Department would have come up with an instrument to that effect.”
Mr Mudede said those linking the mobile registration exercise to alleged rigging of elections were misinformed. “The Registrar-General is clear on the vital civil registration mandate of the department,” he said. “These vital registrations are applicable in various national programmes.
“The Registrar-General is also aware that his mandate is for vital civil registration while voter registration falls under the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Therefore, there is no way the Registrar-General can be associated with regime rigging as alleged by some newspapers.”
Mr Mudede said his department would go ahead with the national mobile registration of national identity cards, births and death certificates in line with its mandate.
The exercise begins on Monday and is expected to end on November 30 this year. “Mobile registration centres will open at 7am and close at 7pm from Monday to Friday,” said Mr Mudede. “During weekends, we will start at 7am and close at 4pm.
“The public should go to the Registrar-General’s offices at provincial and district levels, sub-offices and any other designated areas. Itineraries will be with the respective provincial and district registrars.
“The registration will be a countrywide exercise and we are sure that within this period of three months, people will turn up.”