Maputo — Mozambique's National Civil Identification Directorate (DIC) has expelled two of its staff who were accused of demanding bribes from citizens applying for identity cards in the southern district of Namaacha.
Complaints of illicit charges by the two officials came to light at a rally addressed by the Maputo provincial first secretary of the ruling party, according to a report on Mozambican Television (TVM).
Speakers at the rally claimed that the illicit payments demanded varied from 250 to 1,000 meticais (between 4.1 and 16.4 US dollars, at current exchange rates). Even after paying the bribe, the citizens concerned had to wait for months or even years for their identity card. Those who refused to pay the bribe had to travelto the neighbouring district of Boane to apply for their identity card.
DIC spokesperson Alberto Sumbana said a team was sent to Namaacha to investigate the accusations. The head of the former DIC team in Namaacha is now facing legal proceedings, and the other officials at the Namaacha office have been replaced.
Sumbana claimed that the DIC is making every effort to identify all officials involved in demanding illicit payments. When identified, he added, they must return the money they extorted to their victims.
Similar complaints of extortion have also been made by people applying for identity cards in Marracuene district, abouth 30 kilometres north of Maputo.