THE Ministry of Home Affairs is registering undocumented Namibian citizens, stateless persons and foreign nationals residing in Namibia for up to 50 years.
The ultimate aim is to issue them with relevant documents that will enable them to access services and enjoy benefits that are currently inaccessible to them.
The registration started last month and ends at the end of this month.
Constituency councilors’ offices are facilitating the registration process which, on the ground, is being done by village headmen.
According to Likius Valombola, Commissioner for Refugees in the Ministry of Home Affairs, the registration is targeting undocumented Namibian citizens, stateless people and two categories of undocumented foreign nationals.
Category one encompasses those who arrived in Namibia between 1930 and 1977, while category two is for those who arrived between 1978 and independence day in 1990.
Valombola said that undocumented foreign nationals who arrived in Namibia after 21 March 1990 are not included in the current process.
There were reports suggesting that Angolans who crossed into Namibia recently fleeing a devastating drought in their areas, were applying for Namibian IDs, which Valombola described as incorrect.
“Those who arrived in Namibia after 21 March 1990 have to go through the normal process of applying for residential permits,” he said.
He further pointed out that the registration is being done in all countries in conformity with international agreements.
According to him, all countries are required to do the same, normalising the status of foreign nationals and stateless persons so that they too would have access to services like everyone else.
He defined “stateless persons” as those living in Namibia or any other country, but who are not registered as citizens of any country.
Valombola said that there are many Namibians who, for various reasons, do not possess national documents and cannot access services and enjoy the benefits enjoyed by other citizens.