The move to decongest the passport offices has been pushed to start as early as next week.This follows TechnoMag’s interview with anonymous officials at the passport offices earlier this week.TechnoMag heard first hand from passport seekers especially one who did not even have a birth certificate and national ID to his name following a tragic fire incident that saw him lose everything from property to personal documentation.
The much sort after e-passport is beyond reach of many costing USD $120. For many who have been travelling long distances to Harare to apply for passports decentralization is a welcome move though long overdue.
Scenes of long queues at the passport offices have, however, caused huge discomfort to many hence government desire from next week to start to de-centralise passport issuance offices to other towns and cities across the country.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe told the media of these plans during the week.
“Of late, we have noted a huge interest of these new e passports from the multitude of Zimbabweans from the length and breadth of the country. However, it is the scenes of congestion which we are at the moment dealing with because everyone is coming to Harare to make applications because we have not yet de-centralised the systems. So, starting from next week we are going to set up the offices in Bulawayo to start with and other major several towns and cities so that we ameliorate these challenges,” he said.
Kazembe added that the e-passports are a game changer in terms of significantly reducing lead time at ports of entry.
“The e-passports are a thing to go in line with global trends because the chip on the passport contains all your biometric data that is stored, so it quickly reveals one’s identity, hence it quickens the process at the borders and other points of entry.”
The de-centralisation of passport offices to other towns and cities is therefore anticipated to begin next week in a blatant effort to decongest the Registrar General’s Offices in Harare.
This comes as the newly – introduced electronic passport whilst accepted by some is also simultaneously loathed for it’s exorbitant price.