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Senior registry officers building big houses from proceeds of corruption

by Staff reporter
26 Feb 2023 at 19:54hrs | Views
DISMAYED by rife corruption levels at Bulawayo passport offices, residents have called on government to nip the vice in the bud.

This comes after it emerged over the weekend that some senior registry officers were building imposing houses in the city from proceeds of corruption.

Residents allege that the corruption web is well-knit from the lowest-ranked worker to the senior management level.

Speaking to Southern Eye yesterday, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association secretary Bekithemba Dube said something has to be done urgently so as to rein in the corrupt elements.

"The issuance of electronic passports had brought hope to the end of corruption by the registry officials. The residents had embraced the efficiency witnessed at the beginning, but now the old ways have returned much to the dismay of prospective registry documents seekers," Dube said.

He added: "Residents tell us that these corrupt activities are being fuelled by the officials working in cahoots with touts; this is tarnishing the image of the ministry and the government as a whole.

"We are, therefore, calling for stiffer penalties on the would-be perpetrators. Registry documents are a right enshrined in section four of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. Anyone denying residents access to those universal rights is an enemy of humanity."

Acting registrar-general Henry Machira told Southern Eye on Saturday that he would make a follow-up on the corruption reports.

"I am actually hearing it from you. We will investigate," he said.

Insiders at the passport office said desperate passport applicants were being made to pay at least US$10 just to collect the documents.

"When you visit Bulawayo passport office, before you even enter the office you are met by passport runners who offer you assistance in getting the quickest service for passport application and passport collections. The runners spend the day soliciting for clients whom they in turn refer to the officers, albeit for a fee of course," one insider said.

Last year, the Home Affairs ministry instituted investigations into allegations of corrupt dealings in the issuance of passports and identity offices at its Lupane offices after receiving similar complaints.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe