THE National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) has slammed the Registrar General’s (RG’s) Office in Bulawayo for lacking a humane face in dealing with citizens seeking national documents.
This is the second time that the Registrar General’s Office has been criticised for not properly servicing people seeking national documents.
Last year, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) which was conducting a national inquiry into access to documentation, observed that some citizens were failing to access birth certificates, national IDs and death certificates due to rigidness of RG’s Office employees.
The ZHRC urged officials at the RG’s office to be flexible when assisting individuals seekings national documents especially those affected by the Gukurahundi disturbances.
Individuals without national documents cannot benefit from Government or NGOs’ relief programmes.
Officials at the RG’s Office have been accused of being rude and arrogant yet they work at one of Government’s key offices that deals with national documents.
NPRC Commissioner Leslie Ncube, who is in charge of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South, said officers from the RG’s Office need to change their attitude and strive to provide the best services.
He said failure to access national documents was a major grievance hence the commission has included the RG’s Office in its peace-building process as it wants the shortcomings in the operations of the RG’s Office to be addressed.
Comm Ncube was speaking on the sidelines of the training of Bulawayo provincial peace committee members at a city hotel.
“If you look at the RG’s Office, the passport office, I think you agree with me that many people dread to go there because of the poor service. It has become a nightmare to access national documents yet it is a right of every citizen to access these important documents such as a birth certificate, ID or passport.
“It’s a key issue in Bulawayo when it comes to documentation and that is why the Deputy Provincial Registrar is here and the person that is responsible for issuance of birth certificates is also here. Documentation is one of the sources of conflict,” he said.
Comm Ncube said according to reports from members of the public, some people are dismissed by officials before they even explain themselves.
He said civil servants should remember that they are guided by a Government Charter that requires them to strive to provide the best services.
“We need to bring sanity in that particular office because issues to do with documentation are a right at law. We have to ensure that everyone is enabled accordingly. You should not suffer to get national documents,” he said.