The Registrar-General’s office in Marondera is failing to process all applications for an emergency passport, resulting in passport seekers resorting to camping at the offices.
The office is reportedly issuing only 10 passports a day, which is not enough to cater for the high numbers of desperate applicants.
An elderly woman who spoke from the passport office to Newsday on Tuesday had this to say:
I have been here since Sunday and only got served today. They are just attending to 10 people per day for those in need of emergency passports.
However, those who are applying for ordinary passports are being attended to without hassles, but the collection date is being pushed to close to a year. We have this book, which people are writing their names to avoid chaos.
… According to this book, I am on number 25, I failed to make it today and I have to wait until tomorrow for my turn.
Some people are coming early in the morning to create chaos. Some of us have been here for a day or so.
Last night (yesterday) the police had to arrest a man who was causing chaos, as he disregarded the system of writing names in this book.
The issuing of passports has been negatively impacted by the acute shortage of foreign currency needed to import consumables used in the process.
As a result, a huge backlog has emerged, numbering in the hundreds of thousands.