The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
THE Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Affairs has abolished the “00” code that is found on the National Identity documents of some residents who are of mixed race as being the district of origin.
This was announced by the Minister Cde Kazembe Kazembe in Parliament recently, saying the code was discriminatory.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage wishes to advise the nation, this House, valid stakeholders and affected citizens that the Civil Registry Department which is mandated to provide secure identity documents will be re-coding National Identity Documents bearing the ’00’ last digits which depict the holder’s district of origin. This marks an important milestone in the history of Zimbabwe in our commitment to eradicate all forms of discrimination as typified by the code “00” which identified persons of mixed race, Asians and Caucasians during the colonial era. The ’00’ code differentiated citizens on the basis of race, colour and creed.”
He said the colonial system further segmented access to the mainstream economy and other social strata on racial grounds and gave better opportunities to persons whose IDs bore the “00” code.
“Although the system did not have a legal basis, it had remained in use until now, prompting some of the affected citizens to petition Parliament. The divisive system of rational profiling was at the detriment of segments of society who found it to be hindering their quest to participate fully in mainstream economic activities. Following consultations with the affected communities and various stakeholders, the Government has decided to abolish the “00” code,” he said.
Minister Kazembe reiterated that the Second Republic has no room for the continued use of a discriminatory system which is reminiscent of the pre-independence era saying the Government recognises the contribution of all citizens in their diversity, whose talents and energies must be fully deployed irrespective of their race, colour or creed in pursuit of our national vision.
The programme which is not time bound will be running concurrently with the Civil Registry Department’s normal work processes so as to afford affected citizens ample time to have the anomaly redressed.