The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) says it is investigating laboratories and individuals alleged to be issuing COVID-19 certificates to travellers without carrying out any tests.
This follows recent media reports claiming that some employees at some private and State laboratories have been “selling” COVID-19 negative certificates to people intending to travel abroad without carrying out the requisite tests.
In some cases, travellers who would have tested positive for COVID-19 are reportedly being asked to pay a certain fee so that their results could be changed.
ZACC deputy chairperson Kuziva Murapa told The Herald that they took an interest in the matter based on media reports and have commenced investigations. He said:
Although we have not yet received a formal report, we have taken interest in the matter and opened investigations to establish the truth.
We cannot sit and relax while such corrupt elements break the law with impunity and put everyone at risk of contracting the virus through fake results.
Investigations are underway and we appeal to all those with information that may help the investigator to contact us through our WhatsApp number or on www.zacconline/tipoff. If the informants want to remain anonymous, their protection is guaranteed.
Klosad Clinical Diagnostics Lab in Avondale, Central Hospital and Sally Mugabe Hospital are among the institutions implicated in the scandal.
An employee at Lancet Clinical Laboratories has also been accused of approaching a traveller offering to alter a positive result to negative for a fee and in a statement on Monday, the institution said it has launched internal investigations to flush out the unscrupulous employee.
He said such customers are usually those that need a negative result so they can travel outside the country.