HARARE - Registrar General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede has said his department has managed to “tremendously” reduce corruption at his offices following the upgrade and digitisation of the registration processes.
It marks a dramatic turnaround in a department which had been listed among the most corrupt government institutions, coupled with accusations of inefficiency.
The RG’s Office processes passports and other travel documents, national identification cards, birth certificates, citizenship documents among others.
Speaking to the Daily News after winning an award for the most digitalised government department at the inaugural digital and marketing awards, Mudede said the digitisation had improved service delivery at the department.
“The issue of corruption in fact has been reduced, but let me tell you that the issue of dealing with criminal activities is an on-going issue and we don’t tolerate nuisance,” he said.
“If people are caught, they get dismissed from work; some of them go to prison. So we have reduced it tremendously.
“Our people know once you are caught, you are in soup. And we want people to help us in terms of those touts outside because we can’t control them and they can identify which officer has helped them.
“You used to see queues, you used to see people standing in the rain and so on — now it’s a thing of the past,” he said
To add to citizens’ pleasure, the department is now taking passport photos (internal system), doing away with outside photographers who would sometimes cheat applicants and take low quality, inadmissible pictures, he said.
Apart from citizens being able to access passport application forms online, the department has also provided a short message service platform where it updates applicants on their applications, saving applicants money and time.
Mudede said the system had also enabled them to monitor the department’s offices around the country and attend to breakdowns speedily.
“All the provinces are online. We also have a satellite system, a system that is uninterrupted.
“We are able to monitor things that are happening everywhere, Beitbridge, Mutare, everywhere and we are even able to tell even if there is a breakdown and can attend to it on time.
“We have decentralised, we have taken services to the people but the production itself is still in Harare because of the security nature, the production is done centrally but the distribution and application is done in the districts.
“Forms come here and passports are transported there,” Mudede said.