24 September 2018

Zimbabwe: New RG Tackles Queues, Graft

Newly-appointed Registrar- General Mr Clement Masango yesterday vowed to end perennial queues for various documents, fight corruption and instill a new work ethic to ramp up service delivery in line with the demands of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.

In an interview, Mr Masango said he would widen computerisation of the department to ensure efficiency by minimising personal contact between officers and clients, as part of efforts to combat corruption as well as making services affordable.

Mr Masango, who was Immigration Department principal director, replaced long-time civil servant Mr Tobaiwa Mudede, who was among several senior Government employees who were retired last week.

"Part of my vision is to improve computerisation in order to modernise our operations and improve efficiency. There is no reason why one should queue just to pick up an application form, say for a passport, that should be easily available online where they download, submit; only to be called for interviews," said Mr Masango.

He said computerisation would also address the challenge of touts who have been a menace at the RG's Office, fleecing unsuspecting members of the public of their cash.

Asked what he would do to end the challenge of passports being limited to a few applicants per day, Mr Masango said he would get to the bottom of the matter to understand the reasons.

"I need to know where the problem lies. Is it staff shortages or resources?

Once I establish that, I will ensure that the root cause is addressed. There are long queues of people seeking to get a passport and I understand a limited number of the travelling documents are issued per day. Some have to sleep in queues or get there early. These are some of the issues that ought to be addressed," said Mr Masango.

"My word for those in the diaspora or all Zimbabweans is that I will respect one's right to citizenship and everyone who is entitled to a passport will get it as long as he satisfies the provisions of the law. If unavailability of passports has to do with a problem of financial resources, authorities will be approached and have the situation addressed."

Mr Masango said he would also accelerate decentralisation of the department's services to the remotest parts of the country.

"There must be certainty that one's application will be processed expeditiously; dispatched without delay. Another way of assuring clients is to give feedback at every stage of their application either through e-mail or mobile service's short service message to say your passport application is now being considered, it is now going for printing or to say it is now ready for collection. I intend to introduce a hotline so that we get feedback," said Mr Masango.

Asked how he feels about his new role, Mr Masango said he excited.

"I appreciate the trust my principal has demonstrated in me. I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability. I am not new to this kind of responsibilities because I have been head of immigration for 11 years and public offices are never made to be permanent. It is up to the appointing authority. For me, the 11 years that I served are enough time for someone to move and allow for rejuvenation of the organisation," he said.

Zimbabwe

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