The government has enlisted the services of a Lithuanian printing company, Garsu Pasaulis (GP), to produce national identity documents (IDs) to ease current shortages.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe last week told parliamentarians that a progress report presented by GP to the Government last week indicates that the procurement of consumables used to produce IDs has begun. Said Kazembe:
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A private company was contracted to take over the production of IDs. This was necessitated by challenges our Government is facing with regards to foreign currency issues.
As you would appreciate, (for) our IDs and passports, we use a lot of consumables which are imported but that issue will become history very soon because the company that was contracted is seized with the matter.
In fact, only today we received a progress report to the effect that they are busy procuring all the required consumables to deal with the backlog of IDs.
However, in an interview with The Sunday Mail, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Aaron Nhepera said there are some contracts that still need to be signed. He said:
We are still in talks with the company. There are contracts that still need to be signed, but I can confirm that Cabinet has approved.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission chair Elasto Mugwadi said while the announcement by Kazembe was welcome, they will be monitoring developments closely because national identification documents are a fundamental right. Said Mugwadi:
Our target is to have everyone issued with a national document by end of 2022 since it is a national document.