DESPITE the new Constitution saying Zimbabweans of foreign citizens should be considered as nationals, people formerly known as “aliens” continue to face difficulties in obtaining identity documents.
Recently, two Zimbabweans of Malawian origin claimed they were turned away from the Bulawayo Registry after they were told that they were still considered as aliens. The two, Sandikona Barton Mlauzi (73) and Daiton Phiri (79) sought the assistance of Magwegwe legislator Felix Sibanda to confront Registry officials.
They said they have been living in Zimbabwe for 52 two years and even displayed identity cards which they acquired during the Rhodesian era in 1961 as non-citizens resident in the country.
“I wanted to register today (yesterday) at Magwegwe as a voter, but they turned me away saying I am not a Zimbabwean,” Mlauzi said. He said he wants to vote and if he had money he would take the case to the Supreme Court to contest the constitutionality of his being blocked from registering as a voter.
Sibanda said upon arrival they were shown a schedule which indicated that they were not allowed to register non-citizens.
“We went to the Registrar’s Office and (Provincial Registrar) Jane Peters showed us a schedule, which I think someone tampered with among officials in the inclusive government, as in Parliament we know that the current Constitution allows these people to vote,” he said.
Sibanda said the schedule which Peters showed them reads: “Registration is now restricted to Zimbabwean citizens only in accordance with the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Act number 20 of 2013”.
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“Peters appeared sympathetic but she said her hands were tied, as she was just sent that schedule to follow,” he said.
Peters yesterday declined to comment saying questions should have been sent in writing.
“I am sorry we don’t do things that way,” Peters said. “You want us to comment, you put it in writing and we respond to them.” Twitter feedback @silasnkala