Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (ZANU PF) has taken the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to task for its failure to provide citizens with important documents like birth certificates, national identity cards and passports.
The documents are provided by the Registrar-General’s (RG) Office which falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage which is headed by Kazembe Kazembe. Chinotimba on Tuesday questioned Home Affairs secretary Aaron Nhepera if the ministry was still in existence.
Nhepera was giving oral evidence before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs, and Security Services in Parliament.
Chinotimba noted that RG’s offices in some districts had no computers and electricity to process IDs, birth certificates, and passports for the citizens. Said Chinotimba:
Do we have a Home Affairs Minister in this country?… The Birchneough registry office serves Chipinge North and Buhera South. These districts are still primitive.
From the Rhodesian era till the new Zimbabwe in 1980, and now we are in a new dispensation since 2018, but there is not even one computer in this office.
It pains me because, at the Birchneough registry office, one of the employees is disabled with only two fingers and is ever struggling to write, yet you are telling us that everything is still in the pipeline.
Even if we deny it, it is happening in most sub-offices where there are no computers and electricity.
In response, Nhepera said the lack of consumables and the COVID-19 pandemic are making it difficult for the Government to process citizens’ identity documents.
He told the committee that they had engaged a Lithuania-based company, GarsuPasaulis, to produce IDs and birth certificates and this should result in an improvement on that front.