By Abigail Mzimbawakhe (Midlands Correspondent)
In a preparatory meeting that was held yesterday at Fairmile Hotel in Gweru, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) urged citizens to have national documents so that they cannot be denied their basic human rights.
ZHRC will be conducting a National Inquiry next week throughout the Midlands Province trying to identify challenges that the communities face in accessing national documents.
The National Inquiry will be based on an investigation into a systematic human rights problem in which the general public and stakeholders are invited to participate.
In an interview, the National Inquiry Coordinator, Gorethi Mudzongo, said that the National Inquiry is aimed at identifying challenges faced by citizens in accessing national documents.
“We are going to conduct the National Inquiry so as to identify the challenges faced by citizens in accessing national documents. We will transport people from different communities to a central venue and they will tell us their challenges.
“The National Inquiry will also help to acquire knowledge and appreciation of the process of acquiring various identity documents that include birth certificates, national identity cards, passports as well as death certificates,” said Mudzongo.
The inquiry has noticed that distance is also hindering citizens from accessing national documents.
“We have a place near Beitbridge called Chikwalakwala. The people get their national documents in Gwanda so they have to spend about ZW$450 to go to get documents of which the documents are cheaper than going there, so distance is one of the major challenges,” she said.
Mudzongo further said that the National Inquiry will assist in formulating recommendations for addressing identified challenges faced by citizens in accessing national documents. The National Inquiry will also empower citizens with capacity to claim their rights on accessing national documents.