Zimbabwe: Corruption in Issuance of Exemption Letters Exposed

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Government has unearthed corruption in the issuance of exemptions letters for travellers during the Covid-19 lockdown by officials in the Gweru District Development Coordinator's office.

The officers are allegedly demanding bribes of up to US$50 to facilitate the issuance of the letters to unauthorised people intending to move around during the lockdown.

While Government has generally relaxed the lockdown regulations, including the need for people to produce exemption letters at check points, security personnel at the check points can still demand to see them.

The office has since been ordered to stop issuing anymore travelling exemption letters to ordinary people and businesses during this Covid-19 induced lockdown.

In an interview yesterday, Midlands Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Abiot Maronge said they were looking into the alleged corruption in the issuance of travelling exemptions by officers in Gweru District Development Coordinator's office.

He said people in need of such documents should go to the police while investigations were taking place.

Mr Maronge said his office had since asked the Gweru District Development Coordinator Mr Jorum Chimedza to compile a report.

"Investigations are underway," he said.

"Different figures of alleged bribe money are being thrown around and we will get to the bottom of this. It is Government position that people don't pay a single cent for the document."

The Minister of State Security Owen Ncube recently warned Members of Parliament and councillors against issuing the travelling exemptions, saying only police and District Development Coordinators had the prerogative to issue the letters.

As such, security forces who are enforcing the lockdown are not recognising exemptions issued by MPs and councillors.

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