High Court denies passport officer bail
By Fidelis Munyoro
A passport officer at the Registrar-General’s Office will remain in custody pending trial on charges allegedly demanding a bribe from a passport applicant after the High Court threw out her appeal for bail.
Prisca Moyo (46) who was arrested along with her alleged accomplice Nicholas Chogugudza (35), is facing a separate charge of criminal abuse of office.
Justice Pisirayi Kwenda denied Moyo bail citing high risk of interference with witnesses, following a finding that police are facing challenges in their investigations at the passport office.
It was the court’s view that no bail conditions were likely to stop communication between Moyo and his workmates.
“Accordingly, the decision a quo, dismissing the appellant’s bail application cannot be faulted because the risk of interference is high. The appeal be and is hereby dismissed.”
According to the State, on March 25 Betty Choice Madekufamba, who had applied for a passport last year, went to Makombe Building for collection her document.
She was told she was not eligible to get one as she had no permit and was not employed outside the country and was also advised that the issuance of ordinary passports had been temporarily suspended by authorities.
It is alleged that after the information, she was approached by a man who solicited US$20 for the search and production of the passport. Madekufamba reportedly approached the Registrar’s office and a report was made and a trap was organised.
Reports are that she was approached by Chogugudza who allegedly said he wanted US$20 for the passport to be retrieved. He reportedly approached Moyo and the passport was retrieved.
He took it to Madekufamba and was given the trap money leading to the duo’s arrest. The Herald