HARARE – The government has managed to clear over 200 000 passports during the lockdown in a bid to ensure all outstanding passports are cleared.
This is despite the scaling down of operations which was forced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe told the journalists that the number of passport backlog clearances was now approaching 300 000.
Government allowed Central Registry to resume operations under strict WHO Covid-19 guidelines to ensure the birth, death certificates and national identity cards backlog is cleared.
However, Kazembe said passport services will be offered on specific cases mainly for people with critical reasons.
“When it comes to passports we are not open for the general public. It’s simply for those that are in critical need of passports for now. I’m talking about those who want to seek medical services out of the country or those who have proof that they have been offered an opportunity outside the country or to study outside the country. Those are the critical cases we are looking at, so those, we don’t expect them to be too many for now,” he said.
Zimbabwe has for many years been facing problems in producing passports and at times it has become an avenue for the spread of corruption with many resorting to bribing officials in order to get the “precious” document.