The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage has rubbished a message going rounds on social media calling on persons who applied for passports between 2019-February 2020 to come and collect their passports at Makombe Office with effect from Monday 15/03/2021.
The Ministry said the above message, is fake and did not originate from the Civil Registry Department, and further urged citizens to disregard the message and treat as not true, but fake news.
“The Ministry’s attention has been drawn to a fake Facebook page purporting to be from the Civil Registry Department suggesting that persons who applied for passports between 2019-February 2020 are to collect their passports at Makombe Office with effect from Monday 15/03/2021,” said the ministry adding that a full press statement would be issued in due course.
Zimbabwe has a passport backlog.
Last year, the Registrar-General’s Office said it has managed to reduce the passport backlog by 20 percent, taking advantage of a lull in new applications due to Covid-19 restrictions that have limited travel to the offices.
Before the lockdown, production of passports had been seriously affected by increasing applications and foreign currency shortages.
But the office said it had managed to produce 83 379 passports during the first two months of the lockdown period.
When President Mnangagwa announced the first lockdown in March this year, the number of overdue passports stood at 400 961, but is now at 317 582, said the office at the time.
The backlog was attributed to the challenges in the importation of the special paper needed to produce passports, as only a handful of companies in the world produced it, with Zimbabwe yet to find a viable local alternative.
Section 66 of the Zimbabwean Constitution says every citizen has the right to enter Zimbabwe, the right not to be expelled from the country and the right to a passport or other travel document.
Read statement below: