The Civil Registry Department says it is currently processing the 2019 passport applications and aims to clear the backlog by September this year.
We are now working on the backlog. We are now doing the 2019 applications and we are hopeful that by September this backlog would have been cleared.
When we talk of 2019, it doesn’t mean that we have a backlog for 2020 and 2021. Those are the two years under the COVID-19 whereby we were not issuing passports, but we were just dealing with emergencies. Our passport backlog is the last half of 2019.
Zimbabwe missed deadlines previously set.
In October last year, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told reporters during a post-Cabinet briefing in Harare that the government expected to have fully cleared the backlog by the end of 2021. She said:
The nation will recall that during its ninth meeting, Cabinet approved a strategy by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to clear the country’s passport backlog that had accumulated to over 400 000 by August 2020.
It is pleasing to note that the backlog has since been reduced to the current 184 000. It is anticipated that the backlog would have been cleared by the end of December 2021.
In April last year, the Registrar General’s office has introduced night shifts as a strategy to clear the passport backlog which it attributed to the inadequacy of consumables required in the production of the travelling document.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe on 14 December 2021, launched an e-passport with improved security features to replace the old one. After the launch, members of the public were advised that the e-passport will be usable at all ports of entry and exit with effect from Monday, 7 February 2022.
Old non-biometric passports Zimbabwean passports will remain valid until they expire in December 2023.