The Zimbabwe Republic Police has put in place stringent fingerprint vetting measures to curb potentially unscrupulous elements who might want to take advantage of the system and issue fingerprint certificates to the public.
In a statement, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson Detective Inspector Portia Chinho also advised the public about changes in the time frame of the fingerprints vetting process.
“The fingerprint vetting process is now taking at least seven instead of the three-day period which had been communicated to the public. The change will enable the CID Criminal Records Office to properly check and clear all applications submitted within the given time frame.
“The police have also put in place stringent fingerprint vetting measures to curb potentially unscrupulous elements who might want to take advantage of the system,” she said.
She said applicants should have their fingerprints taken at police stations and that the fingerprint recording by the police is a free service but one should bring his or her own fingerprint forms.
“Those outside Zimbabwe can have the fingerprints recorded at any police station in the countries they reside. The fingerprints should then be submitted at Criminal Investigation Department Headquarters. Members of the public outside Harare may send the fingerprints forms through courier services, well addressed with a paid up return package.
“Those outside Zimbabwe may be able to pay for the clearance through the bank account number which is provided on request. The proof of payment should then be attached to the forms,” Detective Insp Chinho said.
She said the ZRP does not condone corruption by anyone including police officers within its rank and file.
“The public should report any corrupt activities at the ZRP Anti-Corruption Unit which is at corner Josiah Chinamano and 9th Avenue, Harare. For more information, contact the National Complaints Desk on (0242) 703631 or WhatsApp 0712 800 197,” she said.
Early this month, police said the $5 and $10 local currency fees charged for the police clearance certificates after fingerprints are submitted to CID Headquarters in Harare remain unchanged and people should be wary of criminals who want to take advantage of them.
When the charges are changed, the police will announce this and notices will be updated.
Costs vary depending on where the certificate is needed.
The local vetting and the police clearance certificate for use within the country is charged at $5 and $10 while an urgent application can be processed within three days at a cost of $20.
These vetting fees can be paid at the police station where the fingerprints are recorded or at the CID Headquarters.
Details for applicants outside the country are set out on the police website, http://www.zrp.gov.zw. But basically, fingerprints are mailed to CID HQ and the processing fee of USD$75 is deposited into the provided account number and the certificate will be availed after vetting.
The announcement also comes after police received reports of criminals outside CID headquarters who were masquerading as detectives and charging exorbitant fees to unsuspecting members of the public.
Police said people should approach CID offices in person and not engage third parties. Even in extreme emergencies when it is not possible to comply with the waiting period, applicants should feel free to approach the officer in charge criminal records office for assistance.
Local companies and employers were also encouraged to check and accept local vetted fingerprints that have proof of payment made at a police station, attached to them as proof that they have gone through the proper system.