The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security says the mass registration process countrywide is making good progress. 

The Deputy Executive Director, Jackson Wandjiva, told nbc News that the ministry has so far achieved 70% of the set target. 

In February this year, the ministry embarked on a mass registration process to ensure that every Namibian without national documents receives them if they meet the requirements.

So far, about 35,000 people have been registered, out of the set target of 50,000. 

"This needs to still go through a process for us to determine who is actually stateless and who is just a person who was born in Namibia but who does not have documents. But when you make a determination, there are many factors to consider. You do consultations, interview people, and find evidence that can basically assist you in coming to a conclusion and making the decision to say yes, this person was actually born here. And the fact that the person does not have a document is because of a B, C, and D," explained Jackson Wandjiva, the deputy Executive Director of Civil Registrations.

It's no secret that the majority of people frequenting the Home Affairs office in Rundu are from neighbouring Angola. 

Despite this, the registrar says no one will be turned away, whether the person qualifies or not. 

"I'll give you the reason why I'm not giving you a birth certificate. Why you don't qualify is because you were not born in Namibia; you don't qualify for a Namibian birth certificate, or if you come to Namibia, you have citizenship of Angola. What do you want? If you want to become Namibian, there are processes to be followed. Then you just need to apply for citizenship. There is a process, and it's also not a guarantee that you will get it. I need to listen to you. I need to know what you want, and as a registrar, I will advise accordingly."

There is, however, a bill that Namibia is working on to cater for non-Namibians who have been living in the country since 1978. 

Regarding those who do not meet the requirements for citizenship, the Ministry of Home Affairs says, "That is basically an immigration issue. As a registrar, I will refer them to my colleagues next door for advice." 

The past few weeks saw a large number of stateless and undocumented people flood the Home Affairs Office in Rundu. The Deputy Executive Director says they have since remedied the situation with extra help.

Photo Credits
Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security


Frances Shaahama