Cultural Practices Hindering Access To Documentation : Report

By Staff Reporter
HARARE – A report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission ( ZHRC) has cited cultural practices such as demand for lobola and other religious beliefs as some of the major barriers for many people to access national documents such as birth certificates.
The report also said undocumented wives in a union have also seen the collapse of their marriages after the husband gets frustrated by the failure to document children.
“Cultural evidence established that when one parent is deceased, particularly the mother, male witnesses reported that they faced difficulties in obtaining birth certificates for their children because the maternal relatives refused to cooperate,” reads the report.
“There were testimonies of children with deceased mothers who had failed to have their births registered because their maternal relatives insisted on lobola issues being settled first before they availed themselves as witnesses or offered any other form of assistance during the registration process.”
The report was tabled before Parliament last week following a national inquiry into access to national documents.

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