By Robert Tapfumaneyi
GOVERNMENT has started capacitating the department of the registrar general responsible for printing of identity and travelling documents and citizens need to be a bit patient before things return to normalcy, Registrar General Clemence Masango has said.
Masango said this after meeting editors from the country’s major media houses in Harare last week.
“So materials has started to come into the country and as of now we are doing 2000 passports a day. It will take time but please bear with us. It will take time to finish the back log,” Masango said.
“1000 is for urgent passports applications and then 1000 also goes towards addressing the backlog.”
Masango added said the “urgent” line is prioritising Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
“Obviously, people want to know how we are prioritising the urgent applications.
“On the urgent, we prioritise citizens in the diaspora because we have no choice. We are aware that if one is not properly documented they risk being arrested and deported,” he said.
“We are also giving priority to government and business of course as well as those with critical medical conditions.”
Masango said currently the passport applications stand at 383 000, date backing to August 2018.
“The situation got worse in 2018 and then this year right up to August. We have not been able to receive anything from the suppliers who were protesting delays in payments.
“Treasury then engaged the suppliers and a payment plan was agreed on in which we are settling $1 million every month, $600 000 goes towards debt retirement and $400 000 goes towards procurement,” he said.
Hundreds of citizens continue to throng the Registrar General’s office to queue for documents as some seek to escape growing instability and the economic problems that continue to dog the country.