Zimbabwe Passport latest news
Government has announced several measures that will be put in place in a bid to clear the backlog of passport applications one of which is to her staff at the passport processing office to work night shifts.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Kazembe Kazembe made the remarks at a post-cabinet briefing in Harare last night.
“Printing two thousand passports a day will not clear the backlog but we are working to raise capacity to 8 000 passports a day. To be on the safe side, we need up to around mid-year to clear the backlog once we get all the consumables.
“We even have the capacity to have our manpower work night shift to have work done,” he added.
He also announced that ordinary and emergency passports fees have been revised upwards in order for government to acquire material to process the passports.
The Government has also approved for the use of foreign currency by those with the currencies to get their passports processed even quicker.
Kazembe said his ministry is only waiting for Finance minister Prof Mthuli Ncube to come up with a Statutory Instrument governing the approval.
“Clearing our passport backlog that currently stands at 400 000 is not going to happen soon. However, as government we are subsidising the issuance of passports because it is a basic right for citizens to have the identification documents.
“We have revised upwards our ordinary and emergency passport fees application from RTGS$53 and RTGS$253 to RTGS$150 and RTGS$650, respectively.
“Because we are subsidising the production of passports, cabinet has also approved that citizens can make their applications using foreign currency. We are just waiting for Finance Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube to come up with a Statutory Instrument,” said Kazembe.
Among other interventions announced by Minister Kazembe in clearing the passport backlog, the Finance ministry is providing a USD$1 million debt settlement facility, which “will be maintained.”