The Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Kazembe Kazembe, says he visited the passports office under cover in order to understand and get first hand information on what is transpiring on the ground.

His visit follows reports of rampant corruption, under hand dealings at the passports office.

“Today I visited the passport offices and some guy sold me a place in the queue and I paid $30 but he is now in the police holding cells,” he said.

He said these words while giving oral evidence in Parliament on policy decisions in dealing with the backlog in the provision of primary identity documents necessitated by lockdowns due to COVID19 will be given.

He said owing to a lack of forex for consumables and document validation equipment, only 2 000 passports can be processed per day, adding that steps are being taken to correct the situation.

Meanwhile, the Home Affairs minister has disclosed that the Registrar-General’s Office has introduced night shifts for passport printing in a bid to clear a backlog of 225 747.

Kazembe appealed to citizens to be patient as the government works on the passport production side.