Two officials at the Registrar General (RG)’s office have appeared before the courts facing abuse of office charges after demanding bribes from a passport seeker.
The duo, Prisca Moyo and Nicholas Chogugudza appeared before regional magistrate Stanford Mambanje charged with bribery.
The court heard that on March 25, one Pretty Madekufamba who had applied for a passport last year went to Makombe Building for collection purposes.
Madekufamba was told she was not eligible to get one as she had no permit and was not employed outside the country.
She was also advised that the issuance of ordinary passports had been temporarily suspended by authorities.
It is alleged that after the information, she was approached by a man who solicited US$20 for the search and production of the passport.
Madekufamba reportedly approached the Registrar’s office and made a report prompting the office to initiate a trap.
Reports are that Madekufamba was approached by Chogugudza who allegedly said he wanted US$20 for the passport to be retrieved.
He reportedly approached Moyo and the passport was retrieved.
He took it to Madekufamba and was given the trap money leading to his arrest and also led to Moyo’s arrest.
Reports suggest that there are syndicates asking for bribes from passport seekers who would be desperate to get the passports quicker.
Zimbabwe has a huge passport backlog dating back to 2018 with authorities blaming the issue on the shortage of consumables required on the production of passports.
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