The government is not prioritising the decentralisation of passport production because the Harare station, working at full capacity, can produce enough passports to meet national demand.
This was revealed by the Registrar-General Clement Masango while briefing journalists during a visit by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs to his offices on Thursday. He said:
When we talk of decentralisation, it is basically on the need to have more service points as opposed to just one like what we have on passport production in Zimbabwe.
Specifically, to the issue of passports, we have decentralised passport applications to provinces, an ongoing exercise when resources permit.
However, this plant has the capacity to do 8 000 booklets a day. In terms of the printers we have, if they are all up and running, we can do 3 000 passports every day.
So in order to come to 8 000, we would need more printers. Our national demand for passports is far less than that. Every day we receive about 1 000 applications for passports.
The current backlog in passport production is reportedly around 350 000 with the Registrar-General’s office being to process a paltry 750 passports a day.