RG’s Office under scrutiny as Russian gets 2 passports

via RG’s Office under scrutiny as Russian gets 2 passports | The Herald January 16, 2016

Court Correspondent
The trial of Steven Sugden, a Russian accused of infiltrating the Office of the Registrar-General and having fake passports processed, is set to resume on January 26 at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.

Sugden was arrested by the police’s Serious Fraud Squad and his trial started on December 7.

He is facing two counts of fraud involving criminally acquiring and possessing two travel documents using “fake” identity documentation.

Magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe heard that on December 10 last year, Sugden misrepresented to the Registrar-General’s Office that he was not born in Zimbabwe and had never applied for Zimbabwean citizenship.

But according to the RG’s Office, Sugden reportedly acquired two Zimbabwean passports, one in Bindura and the other in Chinhoyi, using a manufactured birth certificate and a fake national identity card which were then strangely entered into the RG’s database.

Mr Daniel Machinga Gozhora, a senior security officer in the RG’s Office, who represented interests of the Government department in the case as a witness, said the birth certificate used by Sugden and the national identity document got into the system through acts of criminality.

He said officers who connived in the matter had been laid off and arrested.

According to the State outline, Austin Kusokora from the RG’s Office, who is at large, entered the identity card details into the system in 2012, while Elijah Sithole from the same office in Bindura, who received the application form from Sugden, was appearing in court over the matter.

It is the State case that Sugden used a national identity document belonging to Jerry White, an alien, and a birth certificate for Sarudzai Kufa to acquire the passports.

The court heard that the national identity number used was issued when Sugden was about nine years old and hence he did not qualify to hold such a document.

Mr Gozhora, who testified that he has been employed for 20 years in the RG’s Office, said criminals were now using every means to compete with the advancing technology to keep afloat their covert criminal business.

“Your Worship, criminals use all means to penetrate systems,” he told Mr Mahwe.

In the case, the RG’s Office has maintained that the alleged criminality of Sugden was assisted by officers employed by the office and that all those who connived in the act obtained some benefits from him.

Mr Gozhora told the court that normally a passport application goes through a minimum of 30 hands before it is finalised, but in this case, the Sugden’s was only handled by a few conniving hands.

In the RG’s Office records, Sugden’s documents appear, including his photograph, although the birth certificate, national identity card and passports are fake, the court was told.


  • comment-avatar

    There is nothing uncommon about this. The Office of the Registrar General wreaks of corruption. I recently had the Office connive with a fraudster and reprint a replica of my national identity card. The 36 year old fraudster (I am 54 and obtained my card in 1979)then proceeded to pretend that he was me. Conniving with my tenant, he defrauded a young family of $10,000.00 being deposit for my house that they were “selling”. It was by sheer luck that someone who knew me got to know that a fraud was about to occur and set up a trap with the police. Regrettably, the suspects having absconded and the Police, despite overwhelming evidence that my former tenant was heavily involved, have not touched her for reasons best known to themselves. Zimbabwe is truly a cess pool.

  • comment-avatar
    todiizvazvo 6 years ago

    So,how can documents which have been rightfully processed by the RG office be fake?

    Can the RGs Office issue fake passports?
    Or you charging the wrong person here?

    This guy has no crime he committed,its the RGs office which should be arrested for what ever crime…..

    • comment-avatar
      Nyoko 6 years ago

      Read the story…. someone got paid & lying to obtain a passport is a crime

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingsbabili 6 years ago

    The problem is that all heads of quasi organisations are Shona headed. Give us a chance too! You will a change. The new makhiwas are inherently corrupt. Sad but its true.

  • comment-avatar
    Corruption managemant 6 years ago

    Fraudsters shuld face the full wrath of our law, wen one succeeded walking thru walls and latter fails , THE same shuld not seek to implicate others as if they knw best yo motive behind such unruly acts of coruption. It was a matter of tym, soon or latter anatsotsi we will lock u in and see if u will wek out yo way frm were u deserve