Lupane residents threaten demos over graft

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LUPANE residents have threatened to stage protests at the Provincial Registrar’s office where there are reports of corruption in the issuance of passports and identity documents.

This comes after some workers recently wrote to Registrar-General Clemence Masango in a bid to force him to act on reports of graft at the provincial office.

This follows a visit by auditors late last year who exposed massive graft at the offices.
Just last week, two workers appeared at the Lupane Magistrates’ Courts facing abuse of office charges after fraudulently issuing identity documents and a passport to a Pakistan national.

In the latest move, tired of corruption reports where people from other regions have been flooding the registrar’s office to acquire passports upon payment of bribes, the residents have threatened action.

“We are pleading with the responsible authorities to intervene and stop the vice. We cannot continue folding our hands in a situation where our people are disenfranchised for failure to pay bribes,” Vumani Ndlovu, the Rural Communities Empowerment Trust (Rucet) coordinator said.

He added: “We have heard a lot of complaints from villagers who are saying they are failing to get a service because of corrupt tendencies. It is for this reason that naturally inspires us to step in to stop this rot.”
Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Richard Moyo, when reached by the Daily News, commented:

“Locals must not be side-lined in the awarding of passports by people from outside the province in the issuance of identity registration documents.

“I urge residents to report the suspected cases of corruption at the nearest police station. They can also report to the DA who will forward the report to me and we take it up as government.”

However, several workers have been either expelled or suspended at the office as a result of the alleged rot.
However, Matabeleland North provincial registrar Willard Sayenda has been accused of causing the suspension and transfer of other staffers from the office for speaking out against corruption at the Lupane office, charges he has since denied.

According to a copy of a letter in our possession, which was sent to Masango, the workers expressed concern with the happenings at the office.

“What is happening is that ever since the province opened, the head came up with corrupt tendencies of issuing births certificates … For avoidance of doubt on this issue, I would like to bring this case to your attention where a Pakistan citizen was issued with a birth certificate ID and passport at Lupane provincial registry. The documents were issued under the name Sibanda Shollcat Saleem, ID no 41-116336 T 41.… birth registration forms were filled by … Shoko and authorised by … Sayenda,” reads in part the letter dated December 24, 2019.

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