Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Where’s the respect?

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This morning I went to get my national ID so, eventually, I can register to vote, however this is easier said than done. Outside Market Square there are long lines of people, some had been there since 9 o’clock the night before, sleeping on cardboard boxes outside the office – just to get basic documentation!

The actual process only takes about 5 minutes per person; they take a picture, your fingerprints, and ask you to sign some papers, then you are done! Yet you still have to queue the entire day for those few simple processes. It seems an unfair waste of people’s time and energy.

Possibly the hardest is for people trying to get birth certificates. There are dozens of women with new born babies tied to their backs, standing in these horrendously long queues just to get a simple piece of paper for their babies. It is not so bad for families who can support and help each other, but single mothers really have it hard. Opposite me were two mothers, both with tiny babies, they had a friend with them to help, but to sit in that queue, on the dirty benches for hours on end with a child that young is unfair and insulting to the new mothers. If anyone should get privileges, it should be the mothers with their children, who are already suffering from post maternal stress, and need to rest, rather than stand in the cold for the whole day.

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