CORRUPTION IN ZIMBABWE
A REGULAR NOW DAILY COLUMN
By Senator Lilian Timveos,
Alternative Minister and MDC-T Spokesperson for Home Affairs.
The Movement for Democratic Change strongly condemns rampant corruption in the Registrar-General’s Office.
On Monday 10th March 2014, the Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede admitted before the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services that there is widespread corruption in this office.
Mr Mudede’s belated admission provides no relief to millions of Zimbabweans who have been failing to get official documents from this office for years because of corruption. Many of the people denied documents by these corrupt, bribe-taking officials have lost out on important life opportunities such as getting jobs, writing examinations, travelling outside the country, exercising their democratic right to vote in national elections or accessing banking services. Others are trapped in foreign countries, unable to get jobs or even come home because the RG’s officials are demanding hefty bribes before giving them passports and other documents.
This is what Mr Mudede said:
“We have some of our officers involved in the corruption activities in the issuing out of important national documents like passports, national IDs and birth certificates. We are calling in the police to arrest the culprits and hand them to court for prosecution.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr Melusi Matshiya added, before the same Committee:
“We have had serious cases and we decided that it is better to dismiss those found to be corrupt, as we are having some appealing to the court and being cleared of any wrong doing, but we are not going to continue working with them as they are bad apples and we don’t even transfer them to any sub office.”
The MDC asserts that the problem at the R-G’s Office is impunity. There are documented cases where those caught on the wrong side have merely been transferred and have not been brought to justice. We wish to point out for the benefit of Mr Mudede and others that corruption is a crime in Zimbabwe, with statutory penalties. It is, therefore, shocking for these senior government officials to come before Parliament and admit that they have been protecting offenders by merely transferring them to other stations, instead of getting them arrested and sent to jail.
As we have stated before, legal and identity documents are a right for all Zimbabweans, which must be provided by the State. It is the duty of the Government to stamp out corruption in this department so that all Zimbabweans and foreigners living in our country are properly documented at minimum cost.
Senator Lilian Timveos, Movement for Democratic Change, 44 N. Mandela Ave., Harare, Zimbabwe. Mobile: 0779 701 082; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. facebook.com/lilian timveos.