‘Dead’ Woman Visits Omang Office


A woman who official records indicate that she died may years ago in a horrible car accident caused headache at Omang when she showed up looking for services.

BOROLONG: A 32-year-old woman from Borolong west of Francistown is still reeling in shock and confusion after she found that the Department of Civil and National Registration, commonly known as Omang has declared her dead.

Tebogo Joseph told The Monitor that when she visited the Omang offices to seek services, she was stunned to discover that the system considered her a dead person. She said she made the discovery when she sought to change the old birth certificates for her two children and her sister’s three children.

It was very urgent for her to process the birth certificate for her daughter since it was a pre-requisite for enrolling her at Tlhalogang Junior Secondary School. “I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and renew both my two children’s birth certificates, together with three others belonging to my late sister. I was shocked after producing my Omang card as proof that I am a Motswana when the system said I was a dead person,” said the frustrated woman.

She could not believe her ears when the officer who served her said that: “Tebogo Joseph is late according to the system”. Later it was discovered that the deceased person she is confused with hails from Semotswane. “I told my parents about the development and they were equally shocked and said that they do not know any of their relatives residing at Semotswane village bearing my name,” said Joseph.

She added that the system shows that she has a sister named Nchadi Joseph whom she does not know and never heard of before.

“I was shocked. I told the officer that I am Tebogo Joseph and have an ID to prove that and that I was never involved in a car accident before. She told me that the system reflects that I was dead after sustaining serious head injuries in a car accident,” said Joseph.

The mother of two stated that she is still confused because she shares the same name, surname and same identity card number (ID) with the deceased person. “The only thing that differs are the signatures. I understand in Botswana, it is easy to share names and surnames because we use common names, but what confuses me the most is the ID numbers that are identical,” she said. Joseph failed to process birth certificates for her children because officers at the Omang office stuck to their guns and said she was dead. “The father of my children came forth to process birth certificates for our two children but what worries me is that I failed to process birth certificates for my late sister’s kids because of this confusion,” said Joseph.

She indicated the Omnag officer showed her the photos of the deceased, a person she has never seen before. She stated that in 2009, she changed her ID after it had expired but she was never told that she was dead.

“I thought that was the time they could have established their mistake but I am confused to be told this now,” she said. She fears that if something happens to her, her parents are going to struggle to process her papers. “I fear for my life because if my namesake (deceased) had committed some offences the police may come and arrest me,” said Joseph.

Efforts to establish the cause of the mix-up n at the Department of Civil and National Registration office in Francistown did not bear fruit. But an officer who could not be identified said they were investigating the case. “I am not in a position to comment on behalf of the department,” said the officer. At the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs headquarters in Gaborone, a person from the public relations office who only identified himself as Kgosingwana (surname) indicated that those who could provide answers were on leave.

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