Addressing journalists in Bulawayo yesterday, the Registrar General Clemence Masango said his office has a backlog of 166 500 passports dating back to May 1 this year due to foreign curency shortages.
He said the Passport Office had finished processing April applications and they will now work on May applications going forward. Said Masango:
We are doing our very best to produce passports and we have a backlog from May which means we have to produce 166 500 passports. This figure excludes the number of new applications we receive daily which are an average of 2 100. We have a capacity to produce about 3 000 passports daily but given the current challenges we are failing to keep up. All passport materials, threads, ink and stationery is sourced from outside the country and like any Government department, we have to rely on forex allocations which are highly competitive.