The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural heritage, Kazembe Kazembe said that the Registrar General’s office has taken advantage of the Covid-19 national lockdown to reduce the passport backlog by 50 per cent.
Kazembe said 200 000 passports have been printed since the commencement of the lockdown in March.
He made the remarks while addressing journalists after a briefing with officials from the Immigration office in Bulawayo. Said Kazembe:
This Covid-19 pandemic caught us off guard even treasury was affected but when we started operations our officials took advantage of this to work on clearing the passport backlog. We have since managed to print over 200 000 copies which are 50 per cent of what was lagging behind.
Further, people should be made aware that the printing passports is not just a process which is done overnight, I hear some people saying that we must get the material locally but that is not possible because passport printing is something that is controlled internationally hence we have to import most of the printing material but our officials are working round the clock to further reduce the backlog.
Kazembe added that they were working on integrating systems which include immigration officials, the Zimbabwe Republic Police, Interpol and even the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to improve security and efficiency within all the points of entry.