Categories: Zim Latest

Govt responds to passport rush

The government has extended operating hours at the Civil Registry Department after its offices were flooded with desperate Zimbabweans applying for passports.

Snaking queues have emerged at the Civil Registry Department offices countrywide after Finance minister Mthuli Ncube proposed an increase in passport fees beginning next month.

Ncube said he would increase fees for an ordinary passport from US$120 to US$200, while an emergency travel document will be priced at US$300 up from US$200.

This increase has triggered a massive demand for the travel document with some panicky citizens sleeping at the Central Registry Offices countrywide to beat the January 1 deadline.

In a statement yesterday, the Civil Registry Department said that its passport offices will now open from 0700 to1900 hours during weekdays and from 0800 to 1500 hours on Saturdays with immediate effect to cope with the demand.

“This is in response to an increase in the number of clients visiting our passport offices,” the statement read in part.

“Moreover, the recent announcement by the Government in relation to the proposed increase of passport fees with effect from 01 January 2024 has also contributed to clients rushing to apply for passports before the deadline.”

The Civil Registry also said the festive season is usually its busiest.

“With industry and schools closed, and returning citizens from the diaspora taking advantage of their visit to have their documents processed, the Department witnesses an influx of clients visiting its passport offices.

“In this regard, the department is extending its operating hours to facilitate efficient e-passport services in response to the high demand,” it said.

A number of Zimbabweans are seeking passports to escape the country’s never ending socio-economic crisis.



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