Media reports suggesting that all newborns will undergo DNA testing before getting birth certificates are false and meant to tarnish the image of Government departments, Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede has said. He said the recent media reports were harmful to the ordinary citizen and would not be tolerated. Addressing journalists in the capital yesterday, Mr Mudede blasted social media users for circulating harmful messages that caused alarm and despondency among Zimbabwean citizens.
“The Registrar-General has not given any such statement to the print and electronic media and the requirements for birth registration remain the same as provided for in the Births and Deaths Registration Act (Chapter 5:02),” he said.
“We wish to disassociate ourselves with the message emanating from the so-called social media platforms and this is typical gross abuse of social media meant to tarnish the image and reputation of the Registrar-General and the department locally and inter- nationally.”
He said the department never had any intentions or plans to provide DNA testing to applicants when applying for birth certificates as it is not their duty to determine who the father of a child is.
Mr Mudede said citizens should be wary of the sources of information that they rely on.
“Issues of vital civil registration events are of national importance and cannot be subjected to any falsehoods or gossip,” he said.
“This has the effect of confusing the citizens about the actual requirements when they come for registration and such social media falsehoods may cause instability and public mayhem all in the name of freedom of expression.”
Mr Mudede said: “It is becoming a norm for people with hidden agendas to use the social media to scandalise Government officials through social media. Public should take heed of media falsehoods peddled through social media by verifying with the department regarding vital civil registration events in Zimbabwe.”
He said there was need for remedy to protect the innocent citizens whose rights were being abused by reckless freedom of expression.
Recently, Government warned that anyone caught generating or sharing abusive and subversive material on social media would be disconnected from using the country’s mobile networks.
With the deliberate proliferation of subversive messages on the internet by some rogue elements bent on destabilising the country, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said Government did not have any intention to ban social media, but would instead introduce a raft of laws to penalise abusers of the facility.-Herald