While a lot of Zimbabweans are properly registered there are still a lot of people who don’t have either an ID card, birth certificate or those who have passed away but have not had a death certificate issued out in their name. This is all due to various reasons and in a bid to overcome some of these reasons the Minister of Home Affairs recently issued a proclamation. Under this new directive members of the public can now get birth certificates, national ID cards and death certificates for their loved ones for free. In addition to this, the Minister also relaxed requirements for those who wanted to obtain one of these documents.

The measure is now already in effect. The Zimbabwean government has a habit of issuing directives that come into effect immediately and while most are often nasty surprises this is bound to be welcomed by the majority of people who have struggled to get documented. This is what the Minister said as he issued this directive:

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage through the Civil Registry Department is conducting a national mobile registration exercise which commenced on 01 April 2022 and ending on 30 September 2022.

The programme is meant to clear the backlog on the issuance of civil registrations which was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is also an opportunity for citizens to obtain national identity documents which will enable them to register as voters in the upcoming 2023 harmonised general elections.

To ensure that no one and no place is left behind during this national mobile registration exercise, my Ministry is glad to announce that Cabinet has approved a waiver of fees for all civil registration documents that is, birth certificates, death certificates, national identity documents and livestock brand certificates.

[… Documents] are now issued at no cost during this mobile registration period.

In addition to the waiver of fees, Cabinet has also approved the relaxation of registration requirements and this is with immediate effect.

Provincial and District Registrars together with team leaders have been instructed to attend to every person and ensure that they are offered the services they require.

In line with His Excellency, President E.D. Mnangagwa’s mantra that no one and no place is left behind, I encourage fellow citizens to take advantage of this opportunity and ensure that everyone is registered.

The public notice from the Ministry of Home Affairs

Of course, if you still want a passport you will have to part with at least US$120 for the 7-day passport. Passports are sensibly still considered a luxury unless you are a diplomat. The fee waiver applies to basic documents mentioned above only.