HARARE – All 350 Members of Parliament will be issued with diplomatic passports starting next week – even as thousands of Zimbabweans who applied for passports are still waiting more than a year on.
Makonde MP Kindness Paradza (Zanu PF), who chairs the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, made the announcement in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
“I want to thank President Mnangagwa that for the first time since independence, our Homnourable Members are going to have diplomatic passports. We would like to whole-heartedly thank His Excellency for extending this privilege to all Members of Parliament whether from the opposition or ruling party, they are going to get diplomatic passports starting next week,” Paradza announced.
He said Zimbabwe was “the only parliament within the region and within the continent or even throughout the world that Members of Parliament did not have diplomatic passports.”
Paradza however warned that “all those who are going to abuse these passports; they are going to be withdrawn.”
The passport grants MPs priority at airports and access to VIP lounges.
The broke Zimbabwe government has been unable to import special paper and ink used in the production of passports, creating a backlog of 280,000.
Currently, the registry department is only able to produce 30 passports in a day, although ministers say the situation should improve soon.-zimlive.com