By Costa Nkomo
ZIMBABWEANS wishing to renew their passports from their host countries abroad will now be required to pay US$318 dollars in order to be issued with the travel document.
This was announced in Harare Monday by Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe.
Zimbabwe is battling an acute foreign currency shortage that has seen authorities struggle to import consumables needed to produce the much sought after document leading to a 359 288 production backlog.
Since foreign currency shortages started affecting operations within central registry, the production of passports has been inconsistent.
But in efforts to earn some foreign currency to scale up the little production taking place, government has since increased the fees for locals based abroad.
Government said as a way of assisting the Registrar General’s office to increase production for passports, it has authorised the foreign currency charges.
“The Ministry is also aware of what citizens are going through especially those living abroad whose passports have expired. Citizens in the Diaspora need to have valid passports in order to regularise their stay in the host countries.
“As a way of assisting the department to attend to requirements for passports by citizens in the Diaspora, government has therefore authorised the Civil Registry Department to charge US$318 for passports, in respect of those in the Diaspora. The applications will be prioritised on an urgent basis,” said Minister Kazembe.
Those living in countries which do not us the US dollar will pay the equivalent.
However, passport application fees for locals remain unchanged.