Call to ban cellphone use during working hours

Source: Call to ban cellphone use during working hours | The Herald June 28, 2016

Bulawayo Bureau
Home Affairs Deputy Minister Obedingwa Mguni has castigated the use of cellphones by officers in the Registrar-General’s offices during working hours, saying this was resulting in little attention being paid to people seeking passports, birth certificates and other important documents. Speaking during the Home Affairs Ministry’s awareness campaign in Ward 18 at Nkunzi Area in Tsholotsho South registry sub-office last Friday, Cde Mguni said he once asked officials to put away their cellphones for a day at the RG’s office in Karoi in Mashonaland West Province, and noted a big difference in terms of service delivery.

“A big difference was noted considering that on the previous day, about 168 people had been served, and on that day the number had doubled to more than 366 people. “I am saying to you, be people-driven, and put them ahead of everything else.

“We should consider that most of our clients here would have travelled more than 60km and in all aspects deserve to be served. Let’s put our cellphones away and see how we will work in terms of client service purposes,” said the deputy minister.

He said civil servants need to change their attitudes and must be competent, helpful and people-driven. The deputy minister also told villagers that his ministry’s awareness campaign was meant to conscientise people on the importance of having identity documents.

“It is impossible to access jobs and social services for the elderly, hence, creating a generational problem. In this area, I understand we have the San people who never used to acquire identity documents due to traditional beliefs yet today when their children try to acquire identity documents and be at par with the current trends, they face difficulties from our registry offices. This is what I intend to rectify today,” he said.

Cde Mguni said a number of children drop out of school at Grade Seven after failing to acquire birth certificates, while some pupils fail to participate in extra-curriculum activities and sports, creating a cycle of poverty.

The deputy minister said they intend to come up with a law to ensure that any expenses arising out of mistakes made by an officer from the RG’s Office are not shouldered by people making an application.

“Mistakes and errors should not be paid for by clients as it is not their fault but the ministry’s fault. We can’t be charging citizens $25 for an error made by our printers or our officers. That is not a citizen’s fault, and by making them pay, it means we will be denying a citizen’s right to acquire correct identity documents,” he said.


  • comment-avatar
    tonyme 6 years ago

    I applaud Cde Mini for his assessment and recommendations for the workplace. People need to be proud of their production and serve with grace. The public sector is there to serve the public and not individuals.

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    Maria dos santos 6 years ago

    The register general’s office is the worse office. It is a nightmare. Before you go there you need to syk yourself up. I had queries for the Citizenship office. Being the only person in the queque, I waited almost an hour and half for the lady to come back from her walk. There were 5 ladies in a tiny office laughing and talking about me but none of them could help me as the lady in charge went for a walk somewhere. In all this a lady came to sell clothes and everyone was around her buying baby clothes. Eventually after going crazy the lady arrived and was absolutely no help. She then took me the senior citizenship officer, who was an arrogant horrible women. She made all her workmates sit around her dirty office and did her best to downsize me, after 3 hours and had not got a cm of details. There were six women in that office who could not answer my questions. Im sure there were all the queen’s relatives, all buzzing around her and she had an attitude problem the size of Zimbabwe, a very controlling arrogant women who was rude and all of them were running around her as if she was the Queen Bee. Downsize these queens and their relatives. When I opened my mouth she would intimidate me and the bees would giggle. What an Ego problem the register general’s office has. Horrible nasty and lazy people. The queen couldn’t even clean her office it was full of dust. I say fire them look at the citizen office staff and tell me how many are really needed.

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    Zondo 6 years ago

    Of all the things that are unimportant in the current situation, this is one. The Herald has nothing better than to come up with rubbish like this.

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    Barry 6 years ago

    Ban this, ban that…none of these policies will be implemented for more than a couple of days. Pity the minister doesn’t understand the concepts of governance and management.