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Late birth registrations rife in Zambezi

2020-07-31  Albertina Nakale

Late birth registrations rife in Zambezi
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The office of the home affairs ministry in Zambezi region is challenged by the late registrations of birth. The office faces a high volume of late birth registrations whereby the authenticity of some of these cases also requires investigation which causes delays in the issuance of such documents.
According to the 2019/2020 statistics, late birth registrations issued with birth certificates (birth registered after one year and older) stood at 1 280.

The identity cards produced were 2 319; while births recorded and issued with birth certificates at hospital were 902.
Birth certificates issued at the regional office (birth registered between 0-1 year) stood at 1 074. 
This was revealed by Zambezi regional governor Lawrence Sampofu when he delivered his state of the region address yesterday.
The ministry also has identity cards from way back that have not been collected. He said the list was shared with the constituency councillors and a programme was initiated to distribute them to constituencies.  The total number of IDs distributed was 1 195 out of 1 793 and 598 remained uncollected.

The office also faces the issue of San communities whose identity cards state they have been Namibian residents since 1978 but this matter is beyond the regional office’s operation and the home affairs ministry requires a collective approach.
Sampofu noted the region is faced with a high number of children born to non-Namibians, born in the country by parents who are non-Namibians who have stayed long in the country to date but are still not legalised. 
“The majority of them have turned 16 years of age to get ID cards but cannot be assisted because they don’t meet the requirements,” he said. 

The ministry is equally challenged with office space, which he says has worsened during Covid-19.
In this regard, Sampofu explained that it is a challenge to keep social distance among staff due to the nature of their operations as the office space is too tiny.

Lack of office furniture and office equipment is also problematic.
In terms of safety and security, he revealed there is a challenge of staff accommodation at Ngoma, Impalila and Chetto police stations. 
Further, the region is understaffed and it has no social workers.
Another challenge is lack of all-terrain vehicles to be able to access rugged areas.
Roadblock equipment is inadequate and there is no shelter in the region to accommodate abused survivors, while cells accommodating lawbreakers are overcrowded. 

And regardless of monitoring control and surveillance, illegal fishing activities remain rampant mostly during the closed fishing period of November to March each year.
A total of 143 items ranging from gill nets of smaller mesh size, drag nets, monofilaments, shade nets and mosquito nets have been confiscated.  

The smuggling of maize grain, maize meal, other agricultural produce and other commercial goods remain rife due to the porous border with neighbouring Zambia, he added.
Illegal activities occur due to the bushy area near Wenela and Katima Mulilo border posts as well as several illegal crossing points along the Zambezi and Chobe rivers.

2020-07-31  Albertina Nakale

Tags: Zambezi
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