ACTING Registrar-General (RG) Henry Machiri has said there is no urgency for issuance of identity cards to Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (Zimsec) candidates at public schools since they were not a pre-requisite on registration.
This follows a demand by lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights for the RG to provide a plan on how his department would clear the country’s backlog on national identity cards.
In a letter dated July 5, 2021, in response to Chinopfukutwa’s request, Machiri said the Registry Department had been prioritising private school candidates to get identity cards up to Monday this week.
“It should be noted that the Civil Registry Department was prioritising private students (those attending private colleges) and those wishing to register for examinations at designated centres across the country,” Machiri stated in the letter.
“Majority of students attending formal schools are allowed to sit for examination without the requirement of an identity card. The days which are set aside were meant to serve as a mop-up for those still in need of identity cards for examinations.”
He said the registry would carry out a mobile registration exercise later this year to clear the backlog.
“All Civil Registry offices have been instructed to serve students only until July 5. We expect to register all the students in the category already stated.
“The public will be attended to normally after July 5 and the backlog in the general populace will be attended to in the national mobile registration exercise planned for later this year. In the meantime we are mobilising resources to carry out this national exercise.”
Machiri said the COVID-19 lockdowns had contributed to accumulation of backlogs in the issuance of personal and national registration documents.
In September last year, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission launched an inquiry into access to documentation and noted that at least two million people were failing to obtain identity documents.
Government said it was facing critical shortages of consumables to enhance issuance of national identification documents.