Mugabe rural home hogs RG funds

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s rural home district of Zvimba has controversially grabbed the largest amounts of money allocated to the Registrar General (RG) department, Parliament heard this week.

The move — likely to cause shock in political and civil society circles — apparently confirms the skewed distribution of national resources in the country, with most resources being allocated to areas where Mugabe and his closest cronies hail from.

This has created imbalances in national development and angered other regions which felt marginalised.

The disbursement of RG office funds last year has raised questions about Mugabe’s role in ensuring fair distribution of national resources, especially after his home district, a place of little commercial activity, got the lion’s share.

“It appeared Mashonaland West province was receiving more resources than other provinces as evidenced by the number of cars bought using the retention fund and other fringe benefits,” a report tabled in Parliament by the portfolio committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services said.

The committee noted that the offices were not accessible to the public for the processing of documents internally after 3pm at the Central Registry and provincial offices and yet its supposed to be open from 0745 hours to 1645 hours, five days a week from Monday to Friday.

“In districts and sub-offices countrywide, offices are closed to the public at 4pm. However, provincial, district and sub-offices are open during weekends and public holidays for purposes of issuing burial orders and this is commendable as the public is not denied of this essential service,” the report said.

The provincial registrar informed the committee that there were four cases of corruption that had been detected in the Midlands province.

“Some offenders had been charged and others were still waiting for finalisation of their cases

“The core values of the organisation were not being shared among the staff, resulting in negative attitude and poor service delivery to the clients. This impacted negatively on service delivery.

“Some of the officers had an attitude problem at leadership level, that is, the provincial registrar in Kwekwe.

“In Chinhoyi, they displayed lack of preparedness in dealing with matters relating to the committee’s visit. Certain requirements were not explained to the clients and conditions set were perceived stringent, much to the detriment of service delivery particularly in Mashonaland West and Midlands provinces,” the report said.

The committee also noted the poor customer service in various provinces.

“... customer care in some provinces is none existent and the service charter is not owned by the department in some of the places visited, that is Zhombe. Officials could not articulate what was on the service charter.

“There is inadequate office accommodation in Kadoma and yet there is an uncompleted and abandoned structure which could, when completed and utilised, enhance the quality of service delivery by the department.”

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