OPPOSITION MDC Bulawayo legislator, Jasmine Toffa, has launched a unique programme to assist residents, particularly underprivileged children and women, obtain identification documents.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
The proportional representation MP said the programme was born out of a realisation that several children in Mahatshula South suburb were failing to enrol for school as they had no birth certificates.
“On Thursday and Friday, I was compiling a list of women, who have no birth certificates for their children. We noted down the place of birth they gave birth at and approached the health institutions seeking assistance on obtaining birth certificates,” Toffa said.
According to Toffa, most of the women failed to obtain birth records for their children over maternal user fees arrears, leading to their failure to get birth certificates.
The government barred health institutions from detaining women for failure to settle maternity and health delivery fees, forcing the latter to resort to withholding birth records.
Toffa, however, said she had received a positive response from United Bulawayo Hospital and Mpilo Hospital.
She said she would raise the issue in Parliament, adding having a birth certificate is a constitutional right.