The government has revealed that the production of more than 3000 passports will start within the next two to three weeks. This comes after the government reportedly directed the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to ensure that the production commences at the stated time.
Speaking at a post Cabinet meeting in Harare yesterday evening, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, said that necessary equipment was already in place. She said:
On the basis of this, we wish to advise the nation that work towards the localised production of the passports is now at an advanced stage as all the necessary capital equipment is now in place while payment has already been made for the consumables.
This should be followed by measures to ensure that citizens can complete some aspects of the application process online, in keeping with the thrust of the ease of doing business reforms.
Earlier reports had suggested that the Registrar General’s office was having issues with printing the travelling document. The Harare office was reportedly printing an average of 12 passports a day whilst the total national production was about 250 against a demand of about 3000.
The scarcity of passports has reportedly created an avenue for RG officials to extort money from desperate passport seekers who want to escape harsh economic conditions in the country.
The office has a backlog that is reported to go as back as 2018. Resultantly, new passport seekers were being told to come and check their documents in a distant future, 2022.
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