The registrar-general(RG)’s office has announced that it will hike up its fees in a bid to retain enough foreign currency needed to produce sufficient passports for Zimbabweans,
According to reports by the Daily News, the RG’s office is swamped with a staggering 386 000 passport backlog which has caused distress among Zimbabweans who wish to travel abroad for better opportunities.
Registrar-General Clemence Masango said the existing passport fees were not economical and needed an urgent review to reflect the current economic situation in the country.
“The matter (of increasing fees) is now with Treasury. They have the final say on the adjustments after we have advised them.
“The process is underway … If there is a change in fees or anything to do with policy that will be properly communicated;’ Masango said.
An ordinary passport currently costs $53 —while urgent passports issued within working days cost $253. Express passports which are issued within 24 hours cost $318, and temporary travel documents cost $38.
These fees were last increased during the era of the multi-currency system when bond notes were pegged at parity with the United States dollar.data-full-width="">
As a result, the RG’s office has not been able to process passports and other critical documents on time, owing to the acute shortages of foreign currency in the country.
He stated that material is imported and it requires foreign currency. Lately they have not been able to get as much foreign currency in order to avail passports according to demand.