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Govt bigwigs cash in on staff transfers

by Staff reporter
19 Oct 2022 at 06:00hrs | Views
Corrupt senior government officials are reportedly demanding as much as US$300 in kickbacks from civil servants who wish to be transferred from their stations, NewsDay has learnt.

Female civil servants, mostly from the health and education sectors have fallen victim to the scam with education inspectors and medical officers (names supplied) demanding sexual favours as payment to speed up their transfers.

Information gathered by NewsDay revealed that some requests for transfer took two years or more to be processed. In an open letter written to government by some teachers and seen by NewsDay, they complained that demands for bribes have become rampant.

"When a teacher wants to transfer from one province to another, one has to pay US$250 to US$300," part of the letter read.

"The amount is paid to education officials in order to facilitate the process. This has been going on for the past five or so years. This is happening countrywide. It appears the teachers have gotten used to the demands and have normalised the scam. Most teachers in Zimbabwe can testify to this. We are earning peanuts and from that little that we have, the superiors want to take part of it. "

Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said a complaint was recently lodged with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry.

"We provided names to the Education ministry hoping for a quick probe into the issue. We are receiving overwhelming complaints against unscrupulous school inspectors who are making money out of demands for transfer. We have not yet received feedback on the progress of the investigations from government. This has been going on for some time now to the extent that it has been formalised.  It is so sad. The situation has resulted in breaking of family ties as wives are being separated from their husbands in the civil service. Considering the salaries that the teachers earn, the majority will not afford the funds that are being charged for their requests for transfer."

Education ministry spokesperson Taungana Ndoro said lateral transfers in the civil service should be done for free, adding that demanding payment was illegal.

"Government is paying someone for that job, so demanding that extra payment is criminal abuse of duty. Government will definitely look into the matter and bring the culprits to justice," Ndoro said.

Health ministry spokesperson Donald Mujiri said: "The complaint has not come to our attention. Officials need to look into the merit of transfers and there are certain procedures. Such requests are processed free of charge. Those whose applications for transfer do not meet the requirements or laid down procedures on transfers will not have their requests accepted.

"Any demand for money against the law is tantamount to corruption and we do not condone it.  It must be reported to the authorities for action."

Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo urged government officials to follow procedure when processing transfers.

"If there are any nurses out there being asked to pay, it is against the law. There are no fees that must be paid and all demands should be investigated."

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe