Hero's son denied passport

HARARE - The late national hero, Samuel Parirenyatwa’s son Chipo is being denied the right to a Zimbabwean passport due to his mother’s foreign origins.

Chipo Parirenyatwa, second born son of the late national hero and Zimbabwe’s first medical doctor, yesterday told the Daily News that the Registrar General’s office denied him the right to renew his passport claiming that he should first renounce his mother’s foreign identity.

The late liberation war hero, whose name is given to the country’s largest hospital, was married to Sibongile Yeni, a South African and sired five children.

“I am a Zimbabwean, born in Zimbabwe and my family is Zimbabwean. I was surprised when I went to the Registrar General’s office only to be told that I should renounce first my mother’s foreign identity before I can get a new passport,” said Chipo.

“I don’t know whether my mother, who died here and is buried here, was still a South African. I wonder whether the Constitution regards me as an alien when I was born here to a Zimbabwean father and a South African mother,” he said.

According to Chipo who is a young brother of former Health and Child Welfare minister, David Parirenyatwa but have different mothers, even his young sisters born from their South African mother have found it hard to obtain national documents as the Registrar General’s office claims they should first renounce their foreign links.

To compound matters, Chipo claimed that even his name was removed from the voters’ roll on the pretext that he should first deal with his foreign links before he enjoys all rights that comes with being a Zimbabwean.

“I asked them why they removed me from the voters’ roll and I was told that I should deal with my mother’s foreign identity before I am a registered voter. I protested and they allowed me to register but I fear that I might not find my name on the voters’ roll come election day,” he said.

The Registrar General’s office is headed by Tobaiwa Mudede, a man who has been at the helm of that institution for over 30 years.

Chipo’s case comes at a time when another Zimbabwean national based in South Africa, Mutumwa Mawere, is fighting the Registrar General’s office to reclaim his citizenship status.

Mawere has launched a court challenge to have Mudede give him back his citizenship status which he lost in 2002 when he exchanged it for a South African nationality. - Xolisani Ncube

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