Harare-The Government announced that it now charges citizens living in the Diaspora in U.S. dollars for production of passports as it is currently battling to clear a huge passport backlog due to foreign currency shortages.
According to the Government the backlog currently stood at 359,288 as of August this year. The Registrar General is facing challenges to import the required material for passport production and these are ink, films, ribbon and passport paper.
Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe said as a measure to cushion against costs those in the diaspora will part with more than 300 US dollars.
“As a way of assisting the Department to attend to requirements for passports by citizens in the Diaspora, government has therefore authorized the department to charge 318 U.S. dollars for passports in respect of those in the Diaspora. The applications will be prioritized on urgent basis,”
“This situation has been exacerbated by the low passport fees being charged by the Department. The Department is charging all its clients in local currency yet consumables for the production of passports are imported and require foreign currency” said Kazembe
Currently to get an ordinary passport you fork out ZWL$53 and takes at least three months to process, 253 dollars for one that comes out after three days and 380 dollars for one which comes out in 24 hours.
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