Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema has today, at his offices in Harare revealed more detail concern the issuance of passports.
The Home Affairs Minister revealed that three state of the art high capacity passport printers have since been delivered and installed thereby enhancing the capacity to make headway in the clearance of the backlog and at the same time attend to some current applications.
Mathema said, “While the impact of the measure taken so far is considerable in that about one hundred thousand (100 000) people who applied for passports will take delivery of such documents by the end of December 2019, with the arrival of the additional material on order at the end of November 2019 or early December 2019, we expect to double the number of people getting passports within two months of taking the delivery.”
“Further steps have been taken to take delivery of passport paper and consumables as well as material for the production of synthetic identification cards to make sure that all those requiring our services get them in line with our client services.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa had intervened directing the Home Affairs Ministry to work with the Finance Department to address the passport matter.
“I would like to now advise that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development on a monthly basis has allocated resources to retire the outstanding debt in relation to technical expertise and suppliers of consumables and paper,” Mathema said.
“At the rate at which we are moving, we hope that by the second quarter of year 2020, significant progress should have been made to resolve this matter.”
The Ministry is facing an increasing backlog of passport application dating back from July 2018.
Current passport backlog situation has been due to the unavailability of foreign currency to procure the needed consumables including passport paper and also due to the need to replace passport production machinery.
Reports of Zimbabweans stranded, not being able to cross borders have been circulating as the passport situation got worse.