Harare (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe’s backlog of passport production has been reduced to 180 000 as the government moves to ensure that citizens get the crucial documents on time, a Cabinet Minister said on Tuesday.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told a weekly post Cabinet media briefing that the remaining backlog of passports would cleared by end of the year.
“The nation will recall that during its Ninth Meeting, Cabinet approved a strategy by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to clear the country’s passport backlog that had accumulated to over 400 000 by August 2020.
“It is pleasing to note that the backlog has since been reduced to the current 184 000. It is anticipated that the backlog would have been cleared by the end of December 2021, she said.
Mutsvangwa said interventions aimed at reducing the cost of passports were also on course.
“Cabinet also wishes to report that the implementation of a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer Agreement with Garsu Pasaulis, a Lithuanian Company on an e-Passport Production Project is well on course with the aim of boosting production of passports, identification cards and birth certificates. “Significant progress has been registered as follows: approval of the final design of the Zimbabwean e-passport which will be fully-compliant with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
” Commencement of renovations at the Harare Passport Enrolment Centre, at the Civil Registry Building on the 18th of October 2021 while the Bulawayo Passport Enrolment Centre will commence on the 27th of October 2021. After the completion of these two sites ,focus will then be shifted to other remaining cities, satellite centres and designated Embassies, “she said.
Mutsvangwa added: “As a result of these interventions, it is envisaged that the cost of passports will be significantly reduced by December, 2021”.
At present, an ordinary passport costs US$60 and a three-day one is US$200 while a 24-hour emergency passport is priced at US$318.