Wednesday, May 8, 2019

15 emergency passports are being processed per day

There is no respite for Zimbabwean citizens hoping to obtain passports as confusion continues at various registry offices across the country.
Well placed sources have revealed only 15 emergency passports are being processed per day, resulting in meandering queues at the registry offices.
Meandering queues have also been the order of the day at Makombe building in Harare where wary citizens have expressed concern at the pace with which the passports are being issued. Said Nyaradzo Nyirenda from Highfield in Harare: 

“This will open avenues for corruption because it seems those with fat pockets are prioritised at the expense of those who cannot afford to pay bribes. I cannot stay here (in Zimbabwe) and I want to work for my family elsewhere but Mnangagwa’s administration is bent on making sure that i don’t get a travelling document for me to legally leave this country. They are just pushing us to become border jumpers and illegal migrants.” 

Government is on record saying that passport production had been affected by technical glitches in one of the machines that is used during passport production. The Registrar General is on record saying that the government department was facing a systems failure which was being addressed. 

However, passport production is currently restricted to 15 passports daily due to a myriad of reasons some of which include shortage of passport paper and forex challenges. 

This according to findings by this publication has forced the Registrar General’s office to downsize their operations, thereby creating a huge backlog. Earlier this year, the Registrar General admitted to parliament that the demand for emergency passports had surged thereby putting pressure on the available dwindling passport paper.

Last week government officials in the registry department claimed technical glitches due to systems challenges had been fixed. Printing soon resumed. However it emerged that despite the partial breakthrough, woes have continued.
Internal documents show that there is a 15 applications per day cap which still stands. The impeccable documents reveal that- Each province has a 15 application cap with the exception of Harare that issues out a maximum of 20 a day. Harare is the only province with a cap of 20.
A latest comment was impossible at the time of writing.