By Anna Chibamu
SOME top male Immigration Department officials who were accused of sexual harassment by their subordinates have been found guilty following a recent probe into the alleged misdemeanour by the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC).
According to a report just released, concerning the findings of the Commission, Immigration Director Administration Stephen Phineas Museki and Principal Immigration Officer Admire Herbert Makani were all found to have committed the acts.
The now former employees who made complaints against their bosses were identified as Sheillah Moyo, Emily Nyadzisai Mupeti, Fortunate Nyamuremba and a client, Shirlima Toure.
According to the report, the probe commenced in 2018 after the Commission received three complaints of sexual harassment from the former employees.
Preliminary investigations proved that the cases were not just isolated incidents but were part of a pattern of gender-based abuse at the government department.
“After the gazetting of the notice of launching of the investigation, six complaints were received but, two complainants decided not to participate in the hearing because of personal reasons.
“Four cases were heard and in three of the cases, the Commission came to the verdict that allegations of sexual harassment had been sustained,” read the report in part.
“Evidence pointed to perpetration of sexual harassment by the Director Administration Stephen Phineas Museki and Principal Immigration Officer Admire Herbert Makani.
“In the matter of Principal Immigration Officer Godfrey Kondo, no evidence of sexual harassment was adduced by the complainant and the witness.”
During the hearings, it came out that Museki had tried to entice Moyo, a married woman, into a secret love affair and was quoted as having uttered words; “Iwe Moyo ngatidanane, unoziva here kuti tinogona kudanana vanhu vakasambozviziva kuti tiri kudanana. (Do you know that we can have a love relationship and no one will ever know about us?)”.
Moyo reportedly turned down the proposal.
On several occasions, it was further alleged, whenever Museki was furious with Moyo for turning down his proposals, he would say; “Sei uchiita kunge mwana mudiki, hauzive zvinoitwa here?” (Why are you acting in a childish manner? You cannot tell me you do not know how to act?)”
Moyo was eventually transferred to the Airport Deport where Museki’s colleague was supervisor.
The new supervisor, according to the report, always found fault with Moyo’s work.
At one point, Moyo told the Commission that she was suspended from work in 2016-17 after her assessment report was deemed false and was later dismissed from work.
Museki had denied all allegations levelled against him.
However, the Commission still found him guilty through investigations with overwhelming evidence.