The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association is concerned with the access to National Registration documents in the country. Access to documentation is a key human right upon which the enjoyment of other human rights is based. Without identity documentation, people are deprived of their human rights. Section 35 of the Zimbabwean Constitution guarantees citizenship. It is sad to note that lack of access to documentation in this country has become a recurring problem.
A visit by the ZimRights team to some national registration sites in Harare showed that the registrar offices have now introduced a booking system, where document seekers have to come, and be given a day on which they can have the IDs processed. Citizens therefore take months before getting the national identity documents. At one of the offices, people who came to book an appointment with the Registrar Office on the 16th of June, were allocated the 8th of September as the day to come back and have their IDs processed, which is almost a 3-month wait.
A national inquiry by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission on Access to documentation released in September 2020, showed that there are over 2 million Zimbabweans who are stateless due to lack of documentation and inefficiency of the RG’s offices and lack of resources were some of the reasons. A ZimRights commentary on the National Inquiry on Access to Documentation urged government to adopt the National Inquiry Report into key government policies to address the barriers to accessing National registration documents.
ZimRights calls on government to formulate a National Policy that deals with access to National documents to ensure that the process in any easy one for citizens.