The Zimbabwe Peace Project condemns the practice in Mwenezi East by some authorities who are forcing residents to obtain birth certificates and Identity cards for the purposes of registering for the upcoming by election. The registration took place at Chingwizi Primary School in Ward 13 of Mwenezi East from the 24th of February to the 1st of March 2017.
It is alleged that Hardlife Mudavanhu and the Rutenga Registration Department are demanding $5-$10 from villagers in order to obtain these national documents for them. Those villagers who cannot raise the money are being asked to give up their goats or chickens in order to obtain the national documents. Those without money or livestock were not attended to. Ruling party cards and name tags were also given to those who participated in the programme.
The Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Honourable Obedingwa Mguni said that citizens may pay a small fee in cases of reissue of national documents. He described taking of livestock for purposes of paying for national documents as outright criminal and urged those affected to report the culprits to the nearest police station.
According to [section 35(3) (c) of the constitution, all citizens of Zimbabwe [including citizens by registration] are entitled to to birth certificates and national IDs. The constitution does not make any provisions for citizens to pay for the services of the Registrar General using livestock. National Registration documents must not be given at partisan political events in pursuit of narrow political interests. The actions of the Rutenga Registration Department amount to unjustified deprivation of property of villagers who are already suffering from the adverse economic conditions obtaining in the country.
The ZPP urges the Ministry of Home Affairs to investigate the officers involved in this matter and take corrective action. Those who lost their livestock under this scam must be restituted and the natural consequences of the law must follow.
ZPP is a Non Governmental Organization that was founded in 2000 by a group of faith based and human rights NGOs working and interested in human rights and peace-building initiatives. ZPP has become a vehicle for civic interventions in times of political crises. In particular, ZPP seeks to monitor and document incidents of human rights violations and breaches of peace.
If you are concerned about acts of violence in your community, ZPP encourages you to get in touch with us on Hotline and WhatsApp numbers
+263 774 883 406 and +263 774 883 417
Toll Free: 080 80199