By Nancy Samkange
THIS Thursday morning, the Minister of Home Affairs came face to face with the level of corruption Zimbabweans meet with everyday when he personally went to the Passport Office and a runner offered to make him jump the queue for US$30 bribe, not knowing that he was talking to the Cabinet Minister.
Zimbabweans have for long complained of massive corruption at the Passport Office, VID driver’s licensing centres across the country, CVR vehicle registration centres as well as most Government departments.
This Thursday morning, Kazembe made some heroic act when he went to the Passport Office and witnessed the level of rot and corruption that ordinary people face on a daily basis.
The suspect has since been apprehended. However, observers fell what the Minister did, although commendable, would not address the root cause of corruption at Government departments.
“I say well done to Minister Kazembe but what he has done is like treating the symptoms and not the problem,” economic and social commentator Brian Sedze said.
“Kazembe must make it easy for people to access passports by buying materials, adopting better techology, shortening lead time, adopt new processes, skill up and give better remuneration to Passport Office staffers.
“Government must also address why people need to travel or leave the country for either migration or trade. Furthermore, why should a product in demand be in short supply? It causes parallel market service provision.
“Nevertheless, I say well done to the Minister. That’s better than denying the existence of corruption while ensconced in lofty offices,” Sedze said.
Further details regarding the culprits were not immediately available.
Government recently hiked prices of passports and introduced a US dollar price, but the document remains elusive. – Zimbabwe Voice ■