Passport shortage: National registry to burn midnight oil

by | Apr 29, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

The national registry has started doing double shifts to trim the backlog in primary identity and travel documents.

This was revealed by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe as he appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services, earlier today.

As it stands, Zimbabwe has a backlog of 225 747 passports dating back to March 2019.

“The backlog has been accumulating due to shortage of consumables which require foreign currency,” said Minister Kazembe.

To address this Minister Kazembe said his ministry introduced a double shift programme with effect from April 26 2021.

“The programme consists of the day and night shift. The night shift operates from 2000hrs to 0400hrs whilst the day shift operates from 0800hrs to 1600hrs.

The two shifts will be working five days a week excluding weekends. The strategy is aimed at clearing the passport backlog,” he said.

Hon Kazembe said with the double shift programme, his ministry will be in a position to produce between 4 000 and 4 500 passports a day.

The expected daily output for the day shift will be between 2 000 and 2 500 whilst the expected output for the night shift will be 2 000.

“Coming to the issue of National identity Documents, my Ministry is faced with a challenge in the issuance of polythene-synthetic identity documents.

This has resulted from shortage of consumables and non-payment of licences and dongles which require foreign currency,” Hon Kazembe added.
Some registry offices have since stopped issuance of polythene-synthetic IDs and have resorted to issuance of Green Copy waiting pass.

To address the situation, Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage is planning to conduct a national mobile registration exercise once all logistics are in place.

“Treasury made a commitment to avail funds for the procurement of additional equipment to complement the existing machinery. Procurement of additional equipment and consumables will increase the production capacity from 4 500 to 9 000 thereby reducing the turn-around time for clearance of the backlog,” said Minister Kazembe.