Zimbabwe: Times to Acquire National IDs Extended

TO swiftly process and facilitate the issuance of national documents required for voter registration, the Civil Registry Department will for the next nine days increase the working time to 12 hours during weekdays and 10 on weekends.

Starting yesterday, the Civil Registry Department will be opening from 7 am to 7 pm while on Saturday and Sunday, it will open from 7 am to 5 pm.

This exercise with a $24 billion budget is being conducted in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) mobile biometric voter registration blitz ahead of harmonised elections scheduled for this year.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe yesterday said a total of 129 mobile teams have been deployed across the country in addition to static registry offices.

“A number of teams have been deployed in all provinces: Harare Metropolitan Province 9 teams, Bulawayo Metropolitan 8, Masvingo 24, Mashonaland East 9, Mashonaland West 8, Mashonaland Central 8, Manicaland 10, Matabeleland South 23, Matebeleland North 10 and Midlands 20.

“Each team will be having a different number of people depending on the deployments. This is the initial deployment but as we go through the process a lot of deployment will be made,” he said.

Minister Kazembe said the deployment was made possible through the support of other Government departments.

“This is to ensure that no place and no one is left behind. Everybody has a right to vote so we are encouraging our people who may have missed the initial blitz to take advantage of this ongoing,” he said.

In a statement yesterday, the Central Registry Department said the national mobile registration exercise which commenced on March 12 will end on March 21, 2023.

“Mobile teams have been deployed across the country to augment the existing static registry offices.

“The programme is meant to provide citizens with an opportunity to obtain national identity documents which will enable them to register as voters in the upcoming 2023 harmonised general elections,” reads the statement.

The Civil Registry department said the exercise is targeting those who attained 18 years intending to register as voters and eligible voters with lost identity documents.

The blitz is also targeting those who are 18 years and above and require both birth certificates and national identity documents.

“All static registry offices including the mobile teams will be operating as follows Monday to Friday 07:00 hours to 19:00 hours. Saturday and Sunday 07:00 hours to 17:00 hours.

“Members of the public are encouraged to take this opportunity to go and register,” said the Central Registry department.

When The Herald visited several mobile registration centres in Harare on the first day they were low turnouts in some areas while other areas recorded high turnouts.

In separate interviews, people hailed the Government for affording them an opportunity to acquire documents.

A newly registered voter, Mr Gibson Nziramasanga of Kuwadzana was delighted to have registered smoothly.

“This election will be my first one to cast a vote. I am glad that more centres have been created for the mobile voter registration process across the city affording a lot of people a chance to register,” he said.

Ms Alice Chaonza expressed mixed feelings over the process.

“The officials at Sunningdale were serving people at a snail’s pace. I went with a colleague at 11am, and spent almost two hours in the queue,” she said.

On Sunday at St Peters Primary School in Mbare, those who wanted to register for the first time were being told to wait due to technical challenges, while those transferring their names to new polling stations were being prioritised.

At centres such as Gwinyai A Primary School in Mbare, people had turned up in their numbers, but the queue was also moving slowly, while at Mhizha A Primary School in Highfield, there were fewer than 10 people.

The situation was different at Chipembere A Primary School in Highfield, with people expressing satisfaction with the registration process.

“It is just a matter of minutes,” said Mr Simbarashe Chibaya. “When I came, there were at least 15 people ahead of me and they were served promptly.”


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