The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have written to Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe saying it is grossly unreasonable & unfair to impose an obligation on current passport holders to apply for an e-passport by December 2023 when their current passports still have many years running before their expiration dates.

They said this is a violation of the right to administrative conduct which is substantially fair & reasonable & hence is a breach of Section 68 of the Constitution.

“We also asked Hon. Kazembe to furnish us with the procedures & criterion used to designate CBZ Bank as the entity to be processing e-passports.

“We stated that in terms of Section 35(3) of the Constitution, it is the State’s primary obligation to provide citizens with passports & other identity documents,” adds ZLHR.

Government recently announced that CBZ Bank will be tasked with the processing of all passport applications at an additional cost of US$20.

However, the lawyers say they requested this information in the interest of public accountability & transparency.

“We gave Kazembe a 48 –hour ultimatum to respond to the concerns raised in our letter,” says the lawyers.