The government has dismissed social media reports that passport fees have been hiked. Reports last week indicated that an emergency passport now costs as much as $800.
In an interview with The Herald on Sunday this week, Registrar-General Clement Masango said:
There have been reports on social media alleging that passport fees will be hiked.
- - - Buy NetOne, Telecel Airtime on WhatsApp using EcoCash.
Send the word Airtime to +263 714 815 229
No extra charges. - - -
That is not true. I am concerned as the Registrar- General that some people seem to thrive on creating controversy meant to instil alarm and despondency in society.
This kind of behaviour must be condemned in the strongest terms. To members of the public, I would want to say it is not Government practice to communicate official matters through social media.
There are no plans to revise passport fees upwards as alleged by social media.
Masango confirmed that the production of passports was halted last week owing to a technical fault. He said:
The stoppage was as a result of system malfunction. It was rectified and by Friday afternoon production had resumed. There is, therefore, no need for members of the public to panic.
The situation is under control and production of passports has since resumed after that temporary setback.
As a department, we want to apologise to our stakeholders for the inconvenience that they went through as a result of that stoppage.