Story by Sifiso Sibanda
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has commended the government’s move to improve access to national identity documents saying it is key to upholding the rights of vulnerable groups in society.
The majority of the San people in Tsholotsho, Matabeleland North Province and the Makhulela area of Bulimia in Matabeleland South province are now able to exercise their political rights through voting after acquiring national identity documents following a government blitz conducted this year.
The development has since been commended by Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission during commemorations to mark International Human Rights Day in Bulawayo this Friday.
“I would like to commend the government for improving access to documentation to Zimbabwean citizens through the blitz exercise by loosening some of the stringent requirements for accessing different types of civil registration documents. As you may be aware, the ZHRC conducted a national inquiry on access to documentation in Zimbabwe from 2019 to 2020 and some of the findings showed that people were not easily accessing such documents and a recommendation was made for a waiver, which we are happy it’s has been implemented,” noted the commission’s chairperson, Dr Elasto Mugwadi.
The government expressed commitment towards upholding human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
Bulawayo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube said, “The constitution of Zimbabwe has an expanded Bill of Rights, in Chapter 4, which has extensively domesticated most of the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international, regional and sub-regional human rights treaties Zimbabwe has ratified and acceded to. These include civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, environmental and elaboration of women’s rights as well as rights of persons with disabilities.”
Apart from availing identity documents, the second republic has been seized with efforts to ensure citizens have access to information through the licencing of television and community radio stations.
The government has also responded to rampant cases of child sexual exploitation by approving the Criminal law Codification and reform amendment bill that seeks to protect children from sex predators.