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Senior Citizens Failing to Obtain Birth Certificates for Orphans

Most senior citizens say they don't have money to travel to Mutare to obtain birth certificates for orphans.

Some orphaned children in Manicaland province are failing to access education funds provided by the government due to lack of birth certificates.

In some cases, relatives do not have money to travel to the regional offices of the Registrar-General to obtain the documents.

It is impossible for children without birth certificates to access benefits such as the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM), set up by the government to cater for the poor.

Over one million school children in Zimbabwe are registered under BEAM, a collaborative cash transfer program between government and donors, which is currently experiencing several challenges.

Chamunorwa Tsatsa of Nyatate communal lands in Nyanga says in some cases they cannot get birth certificates for children due to the absence of the children’s fathers, who are working outside the country.

Tsatsa says the government should set up district birth registration centers so that people without cash will be able to officially register these children.

Another local resident, Nyarai Nyatsanza, says at times they are failing to get birth certificates for children as some of them were born out of wedlock.

For Albert Chapoterera of Hauna, most elderly people who are taking care of orphans, don’t have money for travelling to birth registration offices in Mutare.

Manicaland provincial registrar Joyce Munamati says the Ministry of Home Affairs is unable to set up district offices of the Registrar-General’s Department due to lack of funds.

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