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Lupane passports scandal deepens

by Staff reporter
08 Mar 2020 at 08:36hrs | Views
A Pakistani national allegedly acquired identity and travel documents against set-down procedures for foreign nationals at the Lupane Registrar's Office in Matabeleland North, which has been placed under probe for alleged corrupt dealings.

Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe told Sunday Southern Eye that the ministry had instituted investigations into allegations of corrupt dealings in the issuance of passports and identity documents at its Lupane offices.

According to Kazembe, the ministry was alerted of the scam by employees who have taken to writing letters to the ministry and other state organs such as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission in a bid to expose graft at the RG's office in Lupane.

In the latest incident, Sibanda Shollcat Saleem, real name Shollcat Saleem, a Pakistani national, "un-procedurally" obtained an identity document (41-116336 T 41) at the Lupane offices prior to applying for a passport.

"The registry rules are clear; anyone who gets new documents (same year documents) cannot apply for a passport unless he is given a waiver by the registrar of that office.

"In this case, no waiver was given. There is no waiver attached to the passport application of the Pakistani," read in part some of the allegations raised by junior officers.

"This was a clear sign of violation of regulations. And even more badly, not even one staff member queried the application; another clear indication that everyone involved in that transaction knew what he was doing.

"The disappearance of the documents that initiated the transaction is another clear indication of some seniors, including the provincial registrar, concealing evidence.

"The fact that the office issued the documents to a foreigner unprocedurally means anyone who has money can come and obtain documents and claim our birthright anytime."

Lupane provincial registrar Willard Sayenda refused to comment when reached by Sunday Southern Eye saying the matter was now in court following the arrest of two employees who allegedly facilitated the issuance of the passport to the Pakistani national.

Sayenda has been named in some of the letters of complaint by his juniors for allegedly turning a blind eye to the corrupt dealings at the provincial capital's registry office. The government is failing to meet demand for passports.

Source - The Standard