By Leopold Munhende, Chief Reporter
ELECTRONIC passport applicants are still required to pay the controversial US$20 application fee through the State-controlled CBZ Bank despite government purporting to have cancelled the arrangement.
The fee, introduced by home affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe in December last year, was scrapped after massive outcry and questions around how Tagwireyi had landed the deal without having gone to tender.
After scrapping payment of the US$20 and its handling by CBZ in Statutory Instrument (SI) 3 of 2022, government then gazetted SI 16 of 2022 which then brought back the US$20, this time without any mention of the bank.
The passport offices in Harare even accommodates one of its branches.
A whistle-blower who recently applied for the e-passport furnished NewZimbabwe.com with all documents and receipts indicating CBZ was still receiving the US$20 described as application fees.
The US$20 is charged separately on top of the US$100 for an ordinary e-passport that takes seven days or US$200 for one that comes out in three days.
Kazembe Kazembe the home affairs minister could not be reached for comment while calls on information ministry secretary Nick Mangwana’s mobile phone went unanswered.
A CBZ receipt from a payment made on February 23 at the CBZ branch housed within the passport offices in NewZimbabwe.com’s possession proves Tagwireyi is still getting his stipend for each passport applied.
Another document detailing the procedure to be followed by one applying for an e-passport even has payment of the US$20 to CBZ as the first port of call.
The second is verification and then enrollment.
According to a source privy to developments within the passport, the bank roffices Tagwireyi is getting US$15 per application.