Albertina Nakale Windhoek-Home Affairs and Immigration Deputy Minister, Maureen Hinda, has proposed that all lost and found national documents should be returned to the ministry, as it is the custodian of information contained in those documents. Thousands of lost and found national documents, such as national identifications and passports, are often pasted at all sorts of places such as retail stores, offices, hospitals and police stations. This, Hinda, says leads to wastage, as the ministry has to re-print these lost documents when people re-apply. Therefore, she suggested that all lost and found national documents should only be returned to the ministry so that owners will retrieve them before re-applying to save costs. “We see national documents packed everywhere at police stations and clinics. We need to find a system that if an ID [identification document] is lost, then Home Affairs is the owner of that document. It needs to find its way back so that we make sure it gets back to the owner. Otherwise, we have to re-print and re-print, which is a wastage,” she proposed. Hinda also warned against false registration of national documents where people give untrue information, especially their age and place of birth. She said this could lead to many people being marginalised because there will be no correlation between population and economic growth. “There is a need for the citizenry to understand what a single national document means to the whole population,” she noted. Asked what the government plans to do to ensure that marginalised communities get national documents, the newly appointed Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Frans Kapofi, urged community leaders to ensure people are registered to get their national documents. “This government can do so much. We can go there but if people don’t present themselves, what do we do? They say ‘you can take the horse to the water, but you cannot make it drink’. National, church, community leaders, principals and teachers should know whether the learners in class are registered. It’s not only us who want people registered. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your children have national documents,” Kapofi remarked. He, however, promised to continue reaching out to those in remote areas, who are far from government services. Meanwhile, the Director of National Civil Registration, Collens Museke, said they have targeted plans to reach marginalised communities such as the San-speaking around the country as well as the Ovatue and Ovatjimba people in the Kunene Region. Museke explained last year that they visited the San communities in Gam and Tsumkwe in the Otjozondjupa Region to have them registered and issued with national documents. Anette Bayer-Forsingdal, who is the ID Production and Birth Registration department, said Namibia has good birth registration coverage of about 90 percent compared to many African countries. Further, she added that Namibia also has an ID coverage of 80 percent. She dismissed allegations that most people are not covered, saying about 70 percent of the residents have been registered for birth certificates. The ministry also developed a new e-birth notification system where parents can notify the ministry of their whereabouts so that the ministry can easily track them down to register their children. Equally, she said Namibia will finally phase out the usage and presence of the old South West Africa/Namibia identification document (ID) by March 31. She said there is still about 5,000 Namibians still using the South West Africa identification document.
2018-02-27 09:40:05 6 months ago