GOVERNMENT has increased passport fees by over 200% to mobilise enough resources to clear the 400 000 backlog.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa announced the decision to increase the passport prices with immediate effect during a post-Cabinet media briefing in Harare yesterday.
The new prices will see an ordinary passport costing $150 from $53 while the emergency passport fees were increased from $253 to $600.
The increase in passport fees comes at a time thousands of Zimbabweans have been queuing for the travel document amid renewed appetite to move out of the country in the face of the prevailing economic crisis.
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe said the increase in passport fees will, however, not clear the backlog as the fees were still not sufficient.
“The new charges are not enough, but access to identity and travelling documents is a human right. We are not here to try and make a profit out of the crisis,” Kazembe said.
He said the backlog would take long to clear as government would need up to 16 weeks to acquire needed materials.