Covid-19: Birth Certificate Seekers To Be Vetted Online

As part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, parents seeking to acquire birth certificates for their children born during the lockdown are first vetted online before being invited to the registry offices.

The Registrar-General’s Office suspended the issuing of birth certificates during the six month lockdown resulting in the creation of a backlog.

Recently the government announced that the department would soon resume some of its services following the relaxation of lockdown measures.

Addressing Parliamentarians last Wednesday during a session on oral answers to questions without notice in the National Assembly, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe, said priority was being given to children born in March.

Zimbabwe went into lockdown on March 30.

 “Yes, during the lockdown we were not issuing birth certificates, neither were we providing any services besides burial orders – but we have now partially resumed some services within the Central Registry and birth certificates are some of the services that are now being offered,” said Kazembe. 

“Because we are now aware that there is a backlog since the lockdown was declared in March, we are starting with the children that were born in March coming close towards September.  People who want birth certificates will call the Central Registry.  They are vetted online and are given numbers and dates on which they can visit the Central Registry.”

He added: “We are doing this to try and avoid crowding.  We have resumed service delivery in that regard.”

Kazembe said in the long run, the government would decentralise the Central Registry. 

“In addition, we are embarking on mobile registration and we have already done this in certain areas,” he said. 

“In the meantime, we are aware that some people may find problems in getting to where the Central Registry office is but the issue of transport and the issue of availability of transportation in between rural areas, cities and inter cities is an issue that is under discussion within the taskforce with a view to resolving it in due course.”

Kazembe added that the issues of children who do not have birth records by virtue of having been born at homes during lockdown owing to unavailability of transport would be addressed with the Ministry of Health and Child Care.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology

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