THE Registrar General launched a new website on Thursday allowing Zimbabweans to access passport forms online.
Tobaiwa Mudede hailed the launch of the website – http://www.rg.gov.zw
– saying it would “improve efficiency and reduce time spent queuing for passport forms”.
But Zimbabweans would still pay US$33 for the application form – on top of the US$50 fee for a standard passport which takes up to 30 days and US$250 for an emergency passport which is issued within three days.
Mudede said: “The website provides the public with all relevant information regarding the department’s offices and services.
“As part of the website, we have introduced a new computerised passport application form. This will enable anyone with Internet access to fill in the passport application form within the website from the ease of their home or office, print it and apply for a new passport using this printed form.”
Individuals applying for passports will receive an SMS on their chosen mobile number when the passport is ready for collection.
Mudede said the passport form “cannot be saved on the local computer” and “can only be printed after it has been completely filled in” – claiming this was designed to stop people from printing forms and selling them. But our correspondent was able to download the form in Portable Document Format (PDF).
Those without access to the internet can still access the forms from the department’s offices, he said.
Mudede went on: “The website also enables one to find any relevant information about the activities and services provided by the department as well as addresses of all their offices around Zimbabwe.”
The Registrar General’s office has long been criticised for failing to simplify the process of applying for a passport and other identity documents, amid claims of rampant corruption.
Individuals applying for passports must queue twice – first for a passport form and then to submit their application. Staff at the department were said to take bribes to help people jump queues.