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Press Statement by the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Theresa Makone
Tuesday 23 April 2013
Policy on civic registration of citizens in Zimbabwe
Following complaints raised by colleague ministers and responses proffered
by the office of the Registrar General, it was clear that there is need for
the ministers of Home Affairs to come up with clear policy guidelines.
It is important to state from the outset that issues raised by Cabinet are
not new. It is surprising that complaints reach a crescendo towards
elections for obvious reasons.
The main issues raised included among others;
Availability of birth certificates,
Replacement of lost identity documents,
Length of queues at the Registrar’s offices,
Acceptability of downloaded passport forms,
Cost of passports,
Cost of the voters’ roll,
Registration of women who are removed from their areas of birth by marriage,
Registration of persons in their new places of residence,
Registration of aliens on the voters’ roll,
Attitude displayed by staff towards the public,
Today, the 23rd of April, Cabinet has agreed on the following:
1. Availability of Birth Certificates
Babies born at clinics should be availed with birth certificates
Babies born at home should be issued birth certificates as soon as
practically possible at the nearest office of the registrar.
Where loss of the birth certificate is as a result of burning down of the
homestead, theft or deliberate acts of disenfranchisement, a person will
have these replaced free of charge because the causes of loss are beyond the
control of the individual, and therefore the persons cannot suffer double
jeopardy. Confirmation of the loss is by way of police records of local
Those who misplace their documents should have these replaced at cost.
2. Replacement of lost ID’s
Identity documents lost as a result of regular misplacement shall be
replaced at cost and shall not exceed $5.
Documents lost through arson, or forcible removal from owner in order to
disenfranchise shall be replaced free of charge.
Further, prior to the harmonised elections of 2013, all identity documents
shall be availed to citizens, free of charge, for a period up to the closing
of the roll. At the same time, those who are not on the voters’ roll can be
automatically entered on it.
3. Length of queues at the Office of the Registrar
A structure be put in place at the main entrance of the Registrar’s offices.
There shall be a commissioner there who will direct the public to the
offices that they wish to visit.
This way, long queues seen by passer-by that have individuals wanting
different services as well as those visiting other ministries will be a
thing of the past.
This arrangement will eliminate touts who give numbers to people in the
queues for a fee.
4. Acceptability of downloaded internet passport forms
Passport forms that are downloaded from the Registrar’s website, shall be
accepted by the office of the registrar with immediate effect.
Officers that refuse to accept these forms must be reported to their
5. Cost of passports
There has been a general complaint that only passports priced at $300 were
being processed, and none at $50.
With immediate effect, there shall be two separate windows for passport
applications, one for urgent passports and another for ordinary passports.
The ordinary passport shall be issued no later than four weeks from the date
6. Cost of voters’ roll
With immediate effect the voters’ roll should be issued in an electronic
format to stakeholders.
If required in printed form, the voters’ roll should be pegged at $5 000 per
7. Registration of married women voters
Women voters who find themselves removed from their original birthplaces
will be registered in their new places of residence upon authentication by
husband, husband’s relatives, their own children, neighbours, elderly people
and or traditional leaders. Their identity details can be located on the
Registrar’s system by giving details of origin.
8. Registration of voters in new constituencies
With immediate effect, all voters should be facilitated to change their
address once, from their old to their new residential addresses. No one
should be required to travel to their old places of residence to effect this
9. Registration of aliens on the voters’ roll
The current law allows aliens to register as voters right away. If one is
born in Zimbabwe, or if either parent is Zimbabwean, they automatically are
Aliens with alien IDs but who qualify as voters must have these swapped for
The registration slips that they are given now, will be presented together
with IDs for voting purposes, even if their names do not appear on the final
10. Attitude displayed by the Registrar General’s staff towards the
The issue of touts is dealt with by having a facility at the entrance where
people are told where to go to have their issues addressed. A concerted
effort to have staff trained in public etiquette is going to be organised by
the ministry and the office of the RG. In the meantime, staff will be
reminded to apply the African Ubuntu towards the public, who are after all
I thank you!!!