BY NIZBERT MOYO
THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) says it is determined to assist survivors of human rights abuses to acquire national identity documents amid reports that some have gone for more than three decades without accessing the civil documents.
ZHRC commissioner Japhet Ndabeni Ncube made the remarks in an interview with Southern Eye on Friday in Bulawayo at the launch of a documentary on survivors of rape during Gukurahundi.
“We urge all those who want to be assisted in getting documents to please come and see us at our offices. We will do the best we can. We are looking at any documentation that is missing. But there are certain areas, especially in Matabeleland and Midlands where most people were affected by Gukurahundi. This helps us to dig deeper to find out what happened,” said Ncube, a former mayor of Bulawayo.
Bitwell Nyoni said he struggled to get a death certificate for his father who died during the atrocities.
“It was not an easy journey, it took me one year. I was being tossed from one office to another and at times I was being told that my case was supposed to be attended to by the President himself, who at that time was outside the country. My father went missing in 1983 when I was very young,” he said.
“He was a war veteran and was attested to the Zimbabwe National Army. I am failing to enjoy the benefits that are being accessed by other children of war veterans, hence I have lived a miserable life. I finally got it in October last year, but it has no identity number, which makes it invalid.”
He said he has started his second phase of the struggle to get a number for the civil document written unknown on the space where the number should be.
Over 20 000 people were reportedly killed during the Gukurahundi massacres, leaving many children orphaned and unable to obtain birth certificates.
Habakkuk Trust chief executive officer Dumisani Nkomo also appealed for assistance for rape victims in the country, adding that they needed rehabilitation.