Govt suspends printing ordinary passports

THE Registrar-General Clemence Masango has advised that ordinary passports are not being printed at the moment because their fees is way too low to match the production costs, adding that there is still a huge backlog of the same passports.

“At the moment, the ZWL$53 passports are on the backlog and not being printed because their charges do not meet the current printing costs.

“We are only printing urgent passports and these are only for those who need to travel urgently such as the sick who need medical attention out of the country or those who work outside like truck drivers, those who live outside Zimbabwe and were allowed to pay (passport) fees in foreign currency,” Masango told legislators from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services who were on tour on Thursday at the Makombe Building in Harare.

“We are also printing some for those who need to go outside for studies,” said Masango.

Masango indicated that there were plans to purchase consumables for passport printing.

“The consumables were being purchased so that we clear the $53 passport on backlog. When all is in place, we will inform the public.

“Remember the current fees were pegged in USD set in 2009 soon after dollarising. If we were to make sense, just using the bank rate, we all know that when we import material for passports, the $53 is less than US$3 right now,” said Masango..

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