Zimbabweans in the diaspora will soon be able to acquire passports at embassies in their country of residents. This is after the government has engaged a private company for the creation of a national biometric database for citizens and production of e-passports.
This is part of the Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage ministry’s move to e-governance structure where the Registrar General’s Office would create an electronic database for citizens’ identity cards.
Zimbabwe has a passport backlog of 225 747 with some passports applied for as long ago as March 2019.
This has seen the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage introducing double shifts that will work five days a week to clear the backlog. The Registry is also facing challenges in production of plastic national identity cards, due to a shortage of consumables.
Priority has been given to high school pupils who need the IDs to sit for public examinations and people with selected emergencies while the rest of applicants are getting “green copy” waiting passes.
Through partnership with the private sector, the country would be able to produce four million passport units in a year.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe said employing technology will reduce corruption and human error in the delivery of services.
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