Forget about passports – RG’s office(14-12-06)



BULAWAYO – Monica Tshuma, 35, has spent 90 days at the Drill Hall offices of the Registrar of Births and Deaths in Bulawayo, trying to get a birth certificate for her child.

“Authorities at the offices always tell us that we should leave and come back the following day. I have wasted a lot of money on transport coming here to queue daily in vain. I do not even know what the problem is,” says Monica, four-month-old Sizalobuhle strapped on her back.

Birth certificates and national registration cards ran out a few months ago. After months of playing hide and seek with people, the Registrar General’s office has at last come out in the open and admitted that there is no foreign currency to import the material used in preparing the documents. Passports and marriage certificates have also run out.

Nomusa Khumalo (21), who has also been making constant visits to the registrar of births’ offices trying to get a national registration card, told The Zimbabwean:

“At first they would pick only three people and tell the rest to come back the following day, but now they just send everyone home, saying the plastics that are used to print the IDs is not available. They do not even know when it is coming, hence they tell us to keep coming back to queue. I think I should now just forget about it because I am wasting $1000 on transport every day coming to waste my time here.”

Michael Chirwa registered for his passport in December last year and is still waiting for it, 12 months later.

“The passport was an ordinary one which should have come out in June this year. But when I came here, the officers told me that I should just forget about it until December next year. What rubbish is that? Now I have been trying to get an Emergency Travel Document but they told me that I should have a valid reason to be granted the document. I think this government is just not serious,” he fumed.

The Registrar General, Tobaiwa Mudede, said his office had stopped issuing documents because there was a huge backlog due to high staff turn-over.

“We have temporarily suspended the services in order to cut the backlog. Otherwise by early next year we will resume normal services,” he said briefly.

Nhau MuchiShona (21-12-06)
Fears of imminent blackout(07-12-06)

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