By Anna Chibamu
ALL citizens who paid $53 to get an ordinary passport before the fees were raised to $253, are expected to pay the difference of $200 before their travel documents are processed.
This was announced Thursday by the Registrar General Clemence Masango during a tour of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services at Makombe Building in Harare.
Masango also told the MPs that the RG’s Office was at the moment only processing emergency passports due to limited consumables to clear the backlog for ordinary passports.
“At the moment, the $53 passports are on backlog and not being printed because their charges do not meet the current printing costs,” he said.
“We are only printing urgent passports and these are only for those who need to travel urgently such as the sick who need medical attention out of the country or those who work outside like truck drivers, those who live outside Zimbabwe and were allowed to pay (passport) fees in foreign currency.
“We are also printing some for those who need to go outside for studies,” said Masango.
The RG, however, informed the Parliamentary committee that there were plans to purchase consumables for passport printing.
“The consumables were being purchased so that we clear the $53 passport on backlog. When all is in place, we will inform the public.
“Remember the current fees were pegged in USD set in 2009 soon after dollarising. If we were to make sense, just using the bank rate, we all know that when we import material for passports, the $53 is less than US$3 right now,” added Masango.