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Monday, May 27, 2024
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Over 600 000 e-passports issued to date

Story by John Nhandara

OVER 600 000 e-passports have been issued since the rollout of the programme last year as the decentralisation of issuing centres continues under the Second Republic.

Gone are the days when it used to be a nightmare for one to acquire a passport with people spending sleepless nights in queues.

The turnaround time or waiting period to get an ordinary passport was also an inconvenience as the Registrar General’s offices battled to clear a huge backlog of passport applications.

The coming in of the e-passport has turned things around with over 600 000 e-passports, having been issued since last year.

The Registrar General’s office, which has managed to clear the passport backlog, is now seized with the decentralisation of e-passport offices to other districts such as Mwenezi.

“We started rolling out the e-passport here in Harare in Harare January 2022. Since that time we have covered 6 provincial centres which are now issuing e-passports. The Second Republic has seen fit to decentralise the issuance of passports to other districts such as Murehwa and Chitungwiza. Within the next 100 days, we will have Chipinge and before the end of the year, we will be opening Mwenezi. We have issued more than 600 000 e-passports,” Registrar General, Mr Henry Machiri explained.

The ZBC News crew visited Harare’s e-passport centre and observed a smooth flow of the e-passport application process.

“I came here to do my application and it is fast,” said one of the applicants who spoke to the ZBC News.

“The system is very convenient and there are no hustles,” another said.

“I applied for my passport a week ago and I have just come to collect it,” added another.

The e-passport programme was launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in December 2021 after the government partnered with a Lithuanian company, Garsu Pasaulis in the production of new passports that meet international standards.

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