National registration blitz documents over 1 million citizens

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Harare (New Ziana) –The mobile registration exercise in progressing smoothly with at least one million citizens having acquired birth certificates and national identity documents during the ongoing blitz, a cabinet Minister has said.

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said this on Thursday while responding to questions in the Senate.

“As we speak, the process is ongoing; officers are on the ground in all the rural areas. I may want to inform the august House that on the 30th of May, the number of people who had acquired national registration documents exceeded 508 000 and those who acquired birth certificates were 549 000, including such documents as death certificates which are also being acquired there.

“The programme which was launched by His Excellency the President is moving smoothly. The programme is ongoing until September. We hope that by the time we reach September, everyone will have acquired registration documents and birth certificates to those eligible to receive such documents,” he said.

The Mobile Registration Exercise which began on April 1, 2022 and runs until September 30th, 2022 will be mainly focusing on issuance of birth and death certificates and national identity documents.

Meanwhile, the government is installing closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) at all civil registry offices where it is establishing electronic passport biometric enrolment centres, as it moves to curb corruption in the department, which has become synonymous with the vice.

Biometrics is the process by which a person’s unique physical and other traits such as iris or fingerprints are recorded and detected by an electric device or system as a means of confirming identity.

Home Affairs permanent secretary Aaron Nhepera told New Ziana in an interview that the surveillance equipment had since been installed in Harare, Bulawayo and other centres where E-passport offices had been opened.

CCTV is a video system that consists of strategically placed video cameras around an area that records footage, and is then transmitted to a display monitor for real-time viewing as well as footage playback.

“We have managed to do Harare, Bulawayo and Lupane, Last week we were in Murehwa and Chitungwiza and we will be moving to other provinces soon,” he said.

Nhepera said in Harare, CCTVs had been installed at the new Civil Registry building where most activities have been moved from the old Makombe Building.

He said more bio-enrolment centres would be established throughout the country as the government moved to achieve its goal of a digital economy.

Surveys show that video monitoring can reduce certain types of crime with the College of Policing suggesting that it was “associated with a statistically significant decrease in crime”.

According to one study, crime decreased by 13 percent in places with CCTV, compared to those without it.

The government, through the Civil Registry Department, began issuing e-passports on 18 January 2022 with the document becoming operational on 7 February 2022.

Introduction of the e-passport has greatly improved service delivery and has brought convenience to the public.

The application process is no longer cumbersome and the turnaround time for production of ordinary passports has been reduced to seven days from the previous one year or more.

Zimbabwe joined more than 100 countries which have rolled out e-passports.

New Ziana

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