PASS­PORTS GO TO MI­GRANTS Zim of­fi­cials to is­sue doc­u­ments in South Africa

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu

THE South African Gov­ern­ment has given Zim­babwe the nod to de­ploy its of­fi­cers to is­sue pass­ports, birth cer­tifi­cates and Na­tional Iden­tity Cards to lo­cals re­sid­ing in the neigh­bour­ing coun­try.

The Deputy Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs, Cde Obe­d­ingwa Mguni, said the doc­u­ments would be is­sued from se­lected points in the neigh­bour­ing coun­try as soon as South African au­thor­i­ties iden­tify sites to con­duct the ex­er­cise.

He said his Min­istry would ap­proach Botswana with the same re­quest.

“We’ve ap­proached the South African gov­ern­ment seek­ing per­mis­sion to is­sue pass­ports, birth cer­tifi­cates and Na­tional IDs from their coun­try and they have given us the go ahead.

“Our South African coun­ter­parts are now in the process of iden­ti­fy­ing places where we can con­duct this ex­er­cise. When the lo­ca­tions have been sub­mit­ted, we will im­me­di­ately de­ploy our teams to the neigh­bour­ing coun­try,” the Deputy Min­is­ter said.

Cde Mguni said the ex­er­cise was be­ing done to en­sure that Zim­bab­weans in the di­as­pora were in pos­ses­sion of all valu­able doc­u­ments. He said a num­ber of Zim­bab­weans were ac­cess­ing neigh­bour­ing coun­tries through il­le­gal points while some did not have birth cer­tifi­cates or Na­tional IDs.

Cde Mguni said his Min­istry was also mak­ing ef­forts to re­duce the time frame in­volved in pro­cess­ing pass­ports as it re­mained long.

He said pass­ports were sup­posed to be pro­cessed and is­sued within a pe­riod of two weeks but se­cu­rity checks in­volved were drag­ging the process.

“Pass­ports should be is­sued within 14 days and ours are is­sued af­ter two months. These are some of the ano­ma­lies that we want to ad­dress. We need to in­tro­duce quick co­or­di­nated se­cu­rity checks that will ex­pe­dite the process.

“We re­cently ac­quired a highly ef­fi­cient ma­chine from Ja­pan which pro­cesses pass­ports but our pace does not com­ple­ment the ca­pac­ity of the ma­chine be­cause of these de­lays,” Cde Mguni said. He said Plumtree, Vic­to­ria Falls, Beit­bridge, Chipinge and Chiredzi Towns would be the first to in­tro­duce pass­port is­su­ing ser­vices at dis­trict reg­istry of­fices. Cde Mguni said his Min­istry had noted that these were the main en­try points for peo­ple who were cross­ing into neigh­bour­ing coun­tries il­le­gally. “My Min­istry will be is­su­ing out a ten­der very soon for com­pa­nies that can pro­vide us with the rel­e­vant ma­chin­ery needed when cap­tur­ing pic­tures among other equip­ment that will be used by the dis­trict of­fices. “This ma­chin­ery, how­ever, has to be in line with United Na­tions stan­dards. The de­tails of the ten­der will be re­leased as time goes on,” he said. Cde Mguni said they were also mak­ing ef­forts to im­prove fea­tures of the Emer­gency Travel Doc­u­ment so that they’re once again recog­nised as le­gal trav­el­ling doc­u­ments in neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. — @DubeMatutu.

Sol­diers carry reg­i­men­tal ban­ners dur­ing the De­fence Forces Day cel­e­bra­tions in Harare yes­ter­day

Deputy Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs, Cde Obe­d­ingwa Mguni

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