Kudzai Chikiwa, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has said it will initiate a national inquiry into challenges some people face in accessing national identity documents in Zimbabwe.
The inquiry comes after ZHRC through its programmes noted that there are challenges in accessing national identity documents in the country.
In a statement yesterday, the commission said through monitoring old people’s homes and children’s homes, it noted that many adults and children do not have identity particulars due to various reasons including inability to meet the requirements set out by the Registrar General’s (RG) office.
“The commission has also received numerous complaints that relate to the right to identity which include failure to access birth and death certificates, national identity cards and passports. In public outreaches, stakeholder engagements meeting and legal aid clinics, access to identity documentation has been noted as a recurring concern by Zimbabwean citizens,” said ZHRC.
It said its inquiry seeks to look into the challenges in accessing identity documents, the root causes and factors as well as implications on affected people.
The commission said it will also review the effectiveness of existing laws, institutions, policies and procedures and analyse attitudes and beliefs relating to accessing identity documents in Zimbabwe.
The inquiry will see ZHRC recommending and following up on steps to be taken in addressing barriers identified in accessing identity documents.
To facilitate the undertaking of the inquiry, the commission said it is looking for a consultant to prepare a background research in order to provide an overview of the situation to be addressed within four weeks from the date of signing of the contract.
“The research paper should also gather evidence, that is, statistics and other forms of information that reveal the nature of the problem being investigated, the people affected by it, and the affected people. It should identify the gender, demographical and regional dynamics related to the issue of accessing national documents,” reads the statement.
ZHRC said interested candidates should be familiar with political, economic and social issues of Zimbabwe and applications should be submitted by Friday to the commission.