The Sunday News
Vincent Gono, Features Editor
IT never rains but pours for the Lupane Registry office as allegations of corruption, fraud and forgery in the issuance of national documents continue, with the recent case being that of a birth certificate that was obtained in alleged scandalous circumstances.
Impeccable sources privy to the goings on told Sunday News that a birth certificate that was issued for Mengezi Mpala at the Matabeleland North Provincial Registry Offices was a clear testimony that money could have exchanged hands as there were a lot of shortcuts, and suspected fraud and forgery involved.
The allegations are sucking in officials from the department who registered and authorised the processing of the birth certificate.
The investigations revealed a number of irregularities. The village head from where the alleged Mengezi was born, Busani Moyo of Sibangani Village under Chief Mabhikwa denied knowing the parents of the said child, Fortune Mpala and Nobuhle Sibanda as his subjects despite having allegedly testified through a letter dated 30 May 2019 which he also denied authoring.
This is also the same village that was used in fraudulently getting a passport for “Sibanda” — a Pakistan national which was exposed by Sunday News a few weeks ago. A careful examination of the health card for Mengezi shows that some details were altered.
The name, sex and date of birth on the health card were erased and that of Mengezi was inserted. The mother’s name on the health card was blotted as well and that of Nobuhle whose existence is also in question was inscribed.
Sources further questioned the motivation behind the birth certificate having been issued from the provincial registrar’s office instead of the district office where such documents are normally obtained despite the fact that the two offices share the same building.
“There are a number of irregularities in the issuance of the documents at Lupane Registrar’s Office.
“For this particular case the person altered dates from the health card and forgot to alter others. Initially the health card was issued in 2007 while Mengezi was born in 2011.
“Despite the glaring irregularities an official Edina Mutote went on to register the applicant and the then acting provincial registrar, Mr William Sayenda authorised the application,” said a source who declined to be named.
He further alleged that the headmaster of Elihlo Primary School who allegedly wrote a letter was never consulted as the school is almost 70km from where the applicant stays.
The declarant, Orphan Mpofu also never declared anything as the identity details do not correspond with hers.
“People deserving of service especially locals with no money are no longer prioritised as corrupt authorities are busy lining up their pockets.
The Pakistan and this birth certificate issue are just tips of the iceberg and it’s not surprising that it is not happening at Lupane alone,” said the source.
He said recommendations were made to the effect that the birth certificate be cancelled as it was acquired fraudulently, adding that the provincial office was being preferred by people coming from outside Matabeleland North Province because of the alleged laxity to detail and the easy way of going about things for those with money.
Minister of State for Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Richard Moyo said such allegations where Government officials were accepting kickbacks were disturbing and should be dealt with as a matter of urgency and with the seriousness they deserve.
He said his office would look at the allegations and ensure that recommendations were made to the responsible ministries and departments so that such people were relieved of duties in the Public Service Commission.
“It is disturbing and embarrassing that it is happening in my province. The President has been very clear that corruption has no place in our society. Those provincial offices are there to serve the people of Matabeleland North first and if they are not doing that and opting for corruption, then they do not know what they are doing and we will help them by getting them relieved of duties because transferring them will be transferring a problem,” he said.