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by Pauline Hurungudo 03/03/19

In Ward 2 village in Mbire, the Moyos are celebrating the birth of a new baby girl named Anotida. Just like her older toddler Anotida cannot have a birth certificate because her mother has never had a birth certificate just like many other villagers in this secluded community of Doma. Birth registration is fundamental in Zimbabwe to securing the child’s rights to a name, identity and nationality. Without possessing a birth certificate, Anotida is restricted from accessing public services such as education, healthcare and vaccination. Zimbabwe has a low rate of birth registrations in sub-Saharan Africa, with nearly a third of all children of all children not possessing a birth certificate according to the Research and Advocacy Unity. The constitution and the Births and Deaths Registration Act do not expressly state that birth registration is a child’s right. Birth registration helps to protect children from early child marriages and child labour. The problem is not immediate but manifests later on in life for most of these people who turn not be able to register for public exams leaving them trapped in poverty, some cannot register for financial services like Ecocash, One Money or Telecash because they have no National Identity card (IDs). Some women end up staying in abusive marriages which affects their children because they lack economic freedom.