Government to decentralise issuing of e-passports

By Owen Mandovha

The de-centralisation of passport offices to other towns and cities is set to start next week as part of efforts to decongest the Registrar General’s Offices in Harare.

This comes as the newly-introduced electronic passport has received overwhelming response from Zimbabweans, with numbers swelling at the Harare offices. 

Scenes of long queues at the passport offices have, however, caused huge discomfort to many hence government will from next week de-centralise passport issuance offices to other towns and cities across the country.

This was revealed by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Honourable Kazembe Kazembe during ZBC News and Current affairs programme ‘Face the Nation’ this Tuesday evening.

“Of late, we have noted a huge interest of these new e passports from the multitude of Zimbabweans from the length and breadth of the country. However, it is the scenes of congestion which we are at the moment dealing with because everyone is coming to Harare to make applications because we have not yet de-centralised the systems. So, starting from next week we are going to set up the offices in Bulawayo to start with and other major several towns and cities so that we ameliorate these challenges,” he said.

Minister Kazembe also said the e-passports are a game changer in terms of significantly reducing lead time at ports of entry.

“The e-passports are a thing to go in line with global trends because the chip on the passport contains all your biometric data that is stored, so it quickly reveals one’s identity, hence it quickens the process at the borders and other points of entry.”

The move to decongest the passport offices is a welcome development for many who have been travelling long distances to Harare to apply for passports.