Source: Passport crisis set to ease: Govt | The Herald June 11, 2019
Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
Government has assured the nation that the production and processing of passports is set to increase following the availability of machinery and printing paper.
This comes after members of the public have been complaining that the Registrar-General’s Office was taking time to process passports.
Sources at the Registrar-General’s Office revealed yesterday that they were printing only 30 passports a day.
Additionally, emergency passports are no longer being processed as promptly, as required by procedure.
In an interview yesterday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Cain Mathema admitted to the dire situation, but said the issue was being resolved by Government.
“Members of the public should not panic. We are working on it. Yes we have been facing some challenges, but I would want to assure passport applicants that we have managed to overcome some of these challenges.
“Passports are being done, the paper is now there and the machinery is there. Our people should not panic, we might not be able to produce the numbers that we want at the moment, but we are working on it,” he said.
In April this year, the Registrar-General’s Office co-operated fully with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission in its inquiries into allegations of delays in the issuance of passports and national identification documents.
The investigations come after members of the public complained that the department was taking time to process passports and identity documents.
In an interview then, Registrar-General Mr Clemence Masango said he was aware of the inquiries that were being conducted and assured the people that their offices were ready to serve.
The Registrar-General Office said it was also concerned with the high number of uncollected passports some of which were processed in 2000 and cost the applicants more than $590 000.
Some of the passports were applied for as urgent and got priority over non-urgent applications despite the department’s limited resources.
Addressing a Press conference early this year Mr Masango said some of the passports had expired before being collected.
Zimbabwean passports are valid for only 10 years.
The number of uncollected passports applied on normal basis are 50 733 and least 11 144 passports have since expired.