BULAWAYO: THE widely loathed registrar general’s (RG) department is probably the government’s unashamedly most incompetent agency; it is run by a cling-on bureaucrat who has been in post since independence in 1980.
Tobaiwa Mudede keeps his job despite complaints that getting birth certificates, national identity cards or a passport is a nightmare characterised by long spells in queues and a customer service approach premised on deliberate menace by department officers.
Bereaved families trying to get death certificates for loved ones are not spared further grief either with many saying they travel back and forth to the department over days without getting any assistance.
NewZimbabwe.com last Thursday visited the infamous Room 6 at the local Registrar General offices and witnessed utter chaos, with scores of weary, desperate and confused service seekers cramped in the waiting hall with no apparent assistance from the disinterested officers.
“I have been waiting in the queue since 6am and I have not been served,” said one Lameck Ndlovu late Thursday afternoon.
“I want to apply for a death certificate for my deceased wife. All the people who want to apply for IDs, birth and deaths certificates like myself are standing in one barely moving queue and there is nobody directing clients where to seek relevant services and information.
“Yesterday, (last Wednesday) I spent the whole day here again waiting and nobody could not assist.”
Ndlovu said he urgently needed the death certificate to process the deceased’s estate.
Another Bulawayo resident, Morris Ncube (76), said he had been to the RG’s offices for the three successive days but still failed to secure a death certificate for a son who died in South Africa last month.
“I am very old, and I cannot jostle for positions in queues with young people. Each time, I come here there is confusion,” he said.
“There are always long and unmoving queues at Room 6 where the death certificates are issued. It seems people there are enjoying the confusion because they do not tell you proper information.”
Ncube, who is a pensioner, said over the three days he had already spent $3 on transport travelling into town but with getting any assistance.
“I cannot process the estate of my son without a death certificates,” he explained.Advertisement
“I am even forking out more money coming here, yet I do not have any means to getting an income.
“I wish President Emmerson Mnangagwa could come here and see whether this is what he was talking about when he said service delivery at government institutions would improve within 100 days.”
Queuing for Mudede’s pleasure … Locals wait for services in Bulawayo last Thursday