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Uphill Task for Zimbabweans Seeking IDs in Mobile Registration Centers

One of the Mobile Registration Centers in Bulawayo.
One of the Mobile Registration Centers in Bulawayo.

Some Zimbabweans in the country’s largest cities, Bulawayo and Harare, say they are not benefiting from mobile identity document centers set up by the Registrar General’s Office aimed at availing services to the public.

Some people, who have visited the centers in these cities which were set up early this week, said registration officers are asking them to pay up to $50 for lost identity documents.

They are not being asked to pay anything for new national identity documents.

At times citizens are referred to the main offices of the Registrar General’s Office or other places if they are looking for plastic identity documents, which were part of the promised package when the outreach program was launched on Monday.

Bulawayo resident, Nokuthula Moyo, was turned away from one of the registration centers. “I was told to go to Nketa Housing Office or Pumula Housing Office if I wanted to get a plastic identity document.”

Several people faced the same predicament and went home empty-handed fearing that they won’t be able to cast their vote in next year’s crucial elections if they don’t get identity documents.

Others in suburbs like Greencroft, Malbereign, Westlea, Westgate, Avonlea and others in Harare said it was impossible to visit their designated Mt. Peasant Mobile Registration Center due to lack of bus fare.

But Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede dismissed their concerns saying these are the annual mobile registration centers set up by his office, which were regarded as being accessible to the public drawn from several suburbs.

He noted that people are being asked to pay for lost national identity cards as per some regulations of his department.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is set to start registering people for the forthcoming general elections. The commission uses national identity documents to register voters.