COMMENT: Take advantage of mobile births registration exercise at your door step

The Chronicle

Government yesterday launched a national mobile registration exercise to issue up to two million birth, death certificates and national identity documents.

The backlog for identity documents is estimated at one million but the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage is of the opinion that the number of people in need of the papers could, in reality, be double that figure.

It is essential for the Government to run the blitz at this time as the Covid-19 outbreak led to a halt in processing of birth and death certificates as well as national identity documents. Only burial orders were being processed.

We are two years into the pandemic, so it is logical to estimate that up to two million citizens might need the important documents.

“We have quite a number of people without these vital documents which is why as Government we decided to intervene through this blitz,” said Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe.

“We had our backlog sitting at around one million but we know probably there are some people who have not even attempted to apply for these documents largely because of long queues.

This is a mobile exercise, which means we are going to where the people are and we have deployed teams in various stations across the country so that we issue birth certificates and national identity documents to our people.”

Between yesterday and September 30, all civil registry offices – static and mobile – will be open for the exercise from 7AM to 7PM between Monday and Friday and 7AM to 4PM during weekends and public holidays.

Our people will find the blitz welcome.

Those who live in remote areas often struggle to travel to their nearest civil registry office to obtain a birth certificate or ID because of high transport costs and unavailability of reliable transport.

They just existed as persons known by their relatives, but unknown by the Government.

There must be thousands of people in this situation.

There are others who could bear the travel costs but could not obtain birth certificates or IDs because Covid-19 lockdowns restricted non-essential movements.

There must be thousands of people in this situation.

There is yet another group of citizens who just did not want to bother themselves seeking a birth certificate or ID.

Furthermore, there must be thousands of children born after March 30, 2020, when the first lockdown came into effect, who have no birth certificates.

It is good that Government officials will be in their localities for six months ready to serve them.

We encourage all those eligible to take advantage of the blitz to get the documents which are vital for a wholesome existence.

Elections are due next year and we know one cannot register to vote if they lack an ID.

Those who could not register as voters for lack of documentation have an opportunity to get them so they can register to vote.

By running the blitz during the dry season, the Government mobile teams must be able to reach areas that are hard to reach during the wet season.

We don’t anticipate problems relating to flooded rivers, collapsed bridges and so on stranding civil registry teams.

It is possible that some roads can be rugged in places, but the ongoing Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme should have generally improved road conditions and navigability nationwide.

We therefore look forward to a smooth-sailing blitz to reach its two million target over the prescribed time.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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