Communities and local authorities around the country should consider the civil registration process as a serious tool in fast-tracking the country’s development as it helps the government to plan for its citizens accordingly.
The observation was made on Friday in Burera District by the Minister of State for Local Government in charge of Social Affairs, Alvera Mukabaramba while closing a one-week civil registration awareness campaign.
Mukabaramba said the campaign aimed at shading more light on the importance of civil registration, adding that services which are normally offered at sector administrative level had been decentralized to the cell level to make them more accessible.
“Civil registration services include registration of newborns, deregistration of the deceased, legalising union of cohabiting couples and acquiring national identification among others,” Mukabaramba noted.
She said that data from civil registration plays a major role for the country to plan for its citizen’s development as well as delivering on its promises successfully.
“Civil registration provides the Government with real figures of the population which it uses to plan accordingly, it is therefore every citizen’s rights as well as an obligation to respect the civil registration,” Mukabaramba said.
“You can’t fast track development when you don’t know the numbers…for example, you can’t build a hospital if you don’t have the number of the people living in communities who may seek health services, you can’t know figures when you don’t have proper records of citizens,” she added.
Mukabaramba challenged local authorities to mobilize communities regularly on civil registration process such that it becomes a habit for everybody to adhere to.
The one-week civil registration awareness campaign in Burera saw 176 cohabiting couples from Cyanika Sector legalise their union.
André Semivumbi, 84, who had been living with his partner for a decade is one of those whose union was legalised during the campaign.
He said that together with his wife, they had for long thought of a way to legalise their union, adding that the campaign was a good opportunity for them to take that important step.
“Children might engage into succession conflicts after our death, which can only be averted with making our union legal. I have now legalised my union with my second wife whom I married after the death of my first wife,” he told Sunday Times.
As part of the campaign, the Ministry of Local Government rewarded Cyanika with aRwf1 million cheque and a trophy for being the best sector in the country to have successfully delivered civil registration services during the 2017/18 fiscal year.