Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Chamisa bemoans untendered CBZ monopoly e-passport deal

Opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has blasted President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime for making the e-passports more expensive in the region while giving CBZ Holdings Bank a statutory monopoly to collect passport application fees without going to tender.

On Monday, the government released Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021 announcing that an ordinary e-passport would cost US$100 while an emergency e-passport went for US$200. A US$20 application fee will also be paid at “any CBZ Bank branch countrywide”.

CBZ Holdings (the holding company) where Mnangagwa’s ally, tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei is reported to have a 30% stake, the majority shareholding is the only bank mandated for payments of application fees.

Against this background, Chamisa condemned the way the economy was being run by Zanu PF.

“The most expensive fuel. The most expensive passport. The most expensive leadership. It was number plates,now it is passports. A deal awarded without going to tender? US$120 for a passport yet in Namibia it is US$12. This is the expense of bad leadership. Zim needs NEW leaders!” Chamisa tweeted.

On Tuesday the MDC Alliance national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere accused the regime of engaging in ‘dodgy deals’ during the setting up of the e-passport contract systems.

“We have consistently challenged the regime’s penchant for dodgy deals and the failure to comply with due process and a transparent tender regime in the award of public contracts including this very passport production one.

“We further take issue with the fact that a bank associated with the regime has been awarded a statutory monopoly to collect passport application fees,” she said.

Former cabinet Minister Jonathan Moyo on Wednesday said the e-passport jackpot was meant to benefit CBZ owners who he said include Mnangagwa and his close ally Tagwirei.

“While the USD100 and US 200 fees for ordinary and express e-passports are extortionate, the USD20 application fee paid at “any CBZ Bank branch countrywide” is shocking corruption that stinks to the high heavens as it’s meant to benefit CBZ owners who include Mnangagwa and Tagwirei!” Moyo said.

“The fact that the audacious #CBZ e-passport scam is happening publicly and openly, coupled with the fact that its beneficiaries are @edmnangagwa and his cronies, begs the question: what else is happening behind closed doors under the convenient cover of official secrets?” Nehanda Radio