Integrated digital system in Zimbabwe to enhance ID issuance, birth registration
Zimbabwe’s Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe has announced the setting up of an ambitious integrated digital system, based on a soon-to-be-launched Zimbabwe Population Register (ZPR), that will streamline the way government services are delivered.
In an interview with Zimbabwean newspaper The Chronicle, Kazembe said the digital system will enable citizens apply for national ID cards and biometric passports, register the birth of children, help security services monitor and track down criminals, and then also facilitate safe border crossings into the country.
According to Kazembe, work is already ongoing and the system could be in place within the next six months. It will connect different government ministries, departments, and agencies to enable them deliver different important services to Zimbabweans and other nationals living in the country.
“This system will allow you to apply for your passport or anything on your phone,” said the Minister as quoted by Chronicle.
He said the system will be integrated with government services in real time in a move that will curb red tape in administrative procedures and facilitate the sharing of data across departments and enable seamless access to a wide array of services online.
In terms of tackling the problem of national security and crime monitoring, Kazembe explained that the digital platform will be integrated with the Zimbabwe Police, the Immigration Department, and Office of the Registrar-General, which will make it possible to track criminal activities online. The link with the Immigration Department will also enable authorities to identify overstays, he said.
Another important feature of the system, according to the Minister, will be its ability to automate birth registration. It will be linked to the Ministry of Health and Child Care and to hospitals and other health facilities, meaning the civil registration office will be automatically notified whenever there is a birth. Once the notification is done, a record is immediately created for the child and an ID and birth record number is assigned to them, the Minister explained.
Other government services to be integrated with the system include the state lotteries, national monuments and archives.
This move is part of Zimbabwe’s ongoing digital transformation drive which also includes a smart city surveillance project for a new capital the country intends to build, although the project has come under intense criticism.
Zimbabwe recently ended a biometric voter registration blitz which saw the enrolment of over 450,000 new registrants.