CITIZENS’ Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator for Hatcliffe constituency, Allan Markham, has recommended that the national identity registration blitz cater for Gukurahundi victims and ex-farmworkers, among other vulnerable groups that have continually been excluded from obtaining IDs, as the country heads towards the 2023 general elections.
A fortnight ago in the National Assembly, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe (pictured) said close to 3 million people between February and September were registered last year in a national ID registration exercise, and that there would be a mop-up campaign targeting those who were left out by the initial exercise.
Kazembe said the Civil Registry department had managed to issue over a million identity documents to youths nationwide during the blitz and 1 423 of those were for Hatcliffe and Borrowdale residents.
“The Market Square mobile teams which were under Harare metropolitan province itinerary covered Hatcliffe and Borrowdale as follows: Hatcliffe 1 654 birth certificate and 1 226 identity cards; Borrowdale 101 birth certificates and 197 identity cards, bringing it to a total of 1 755 birth certificates and 1 423 national identity cards,” said the minister.
This week, Markham told The NewsHawks that he has recommended the servicing of groups that have been repeatedly left out of prior registration blitzes.
“My last question last week (in Parliament) was that, we do not want to do voter registration without doing the Registrar-General’s so that undocumented people can be get national identity documents. They left many people behind when they did that.
“So I want them to target particularly victims of the Gukurahundi, farmworkers who were run out of the farms and they did not get their documents. So, those people are still out there, and we were promised that we would do it before the election,” Markham said.
Opposition parties and civil society organisations have been launching campaigns to encourage people from Matabeleland region to register and vote, many of them victims of Gukurahundi.
Markham has amplified calls for the registration process to reach the victims ahead, so they can register to vote ahead of this year’s elections.
Two weeks ago, he urged Zec to come clean on its upcoming voter registration blitz, fearing that it could leave out several eligible voters, should it be clandestinely done.
“My point of national interest is very important. We are coming up to an election. We hear on social media, Zec included, that they are going to do another round of what are called the blitz registration. I think it is important that Zec comes clean and tell us when and where they are going to do this.”
In Hatcliffe, Markham said there are more than 2 000 eligible voters who have not yet been registered. In other parts of Borrowdale, he said there are at least 500 people who have not yet been registered.
In his ministerial statement, Kazembe said preparations are still underway to conduct another mobile registration exercise as the country inches closer to the elections, and Markham says the programme should target vulnerable groups that have continually been left out.