The Namibian (Windhoek)

28 November 2012

Namibia: Zembas to Get IDs

THE Zembas who are living in the Kilimanjaro informal settlement on the outskirts of Windhoek and who do not possess any Namibian documentation are now being helped by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Ministry officials have taken the fingerprints of all the adults to see if there are any records of the people.

“We can see if they ever had any documentation. Many of the people had an old South African identity document and if that is the case we will see that and then just issue a new Namibian identity document,” said Lydia Kandetu, head of civil registration.

“The other people will be interviewed to ensure that they were born in Namibia, as there are many people who live next to the river and cross over from Angola and back, especially from the Zemba and Himba tribes,” she added.

If it is established that they were born in Angola but have been living in Namibia for most their lives they can apply for citizenship. For many of the people living in remote villages documentation is not important but once they migrate to the city and want to attend school or apply for social grants it becomes a necessity.

When Home Affairs hears about such cases they respond and help the people, Kandetu said. “We are here for the people and we want all Namibians to have the necessary documents,” said Kandetu.

Currently there are 21 birth registration officers stationed at hospitals countrywide so that mothers can register the birth of their babies right there.

There are also 26 subregional offices where people can register if the regional offices are too far away. The ministry also wants to open offices in Okuryangava, Otjomuise and the Tobias Hainyeko Constituency to bring services closer to the people.

“Many people live in the informal settlements and do not have the means to travel to town so we want to come closer the the people,” said Kandetu.

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