An officer at the Registrar General Market Square District Office appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court charged with bribery.
According to court papers, sometime in March 2022, Clemence Mbedzi (42) met Thomas Kamwara, who wanted to apply for a birth certificate for his brother, Innocent.
Kamwara told Mbedzi that both their parents were dead, but they needed assistance to get a birth certificate. Mbedzi allegedly charged them US$100 to process the document.
Later in April 2022, Kamwara went to Market Square, where he was allegedly given a birth record and a confirmation letter with a stamp from Simudzai Primary School, indicating that Innocent Kamwara did his primary education at that school.
Mbedzi then allegedly hired one Honest Haruvhunzwi Tarwira to represent Innocent as his mother.
On May 3, the brothers and Tarirwa went to the Market Square registration office, where they tendered documents they had to a Makomborero Hove, who discovered that there were faults with the documents.
She then reported the matter to the police leading Mbedzi’s arrest.
Clemence Mbedzi was granted ZW$20 000 bail when he appeared before Harare Magistrate, Yeukai Dzuda.
He will be back in court on May 27 2022.
Cases of officers in the Registrar General’s office asking for kickbacks to process identity or travel documents are not new.
They are taking advantage of the scarcity of documents to squeeze money from the desperate applicants.