Thursday, 25 January 2018

PASSPORT BACKLOG TO BE CLEARED : MPOFU

TREASURY has intervened in a bid to end delays in issuing passports by agreeing to import materials needed by the Registrar General’s Office.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Culture Dr Obert Mpofu revealed this during the National Assembly’s question and answer session yesterday.

He said the passport backlog was a result of foreign currency shortages. Dr Mpofu said to address the problem, his Ministry approached the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning which promised to assist in sourcing the required materials needed to produce passports.

“We have challenges in the department that issues passports because of lack of foreign currency to import paper. The Zimbabwean passport is produced from imported material,” said Dr Mpofu.

He said the Finance Ministry had agreed to provide the required forex to import the paper and once the paper is received, the RG’s office will work to clear the backlog.

“I was at the offices yesterday and was assured that the backlog will be addressed as soon as the paper is available,” said Dr Mpofu.
Members of the public have complained over delays in issuing passports. A passport which should be released within a month is now being issued after six months.

“We are moving from the manual system of processing documents. I was at the department of immigration yesterday and this morning in another department. I intend to move to the Registrar General’s Office to ensure that we move from the manual system to the digital processing. And this is within the 100 day programme which His Excellency has set for us,” said Dr Mpofu.

He said some progress has been made towards introducing electronic services such as E-passport, E-visa and E-Immigration. Herald

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