11 000 passports left uncollected at Registry
MORE than 11 000 passports have not been claimed with some even expiring before they are collected by their owners, an official has said.
e Registrar-General, Mr Clemence Masango, said the department was facing a problem of uncollected passports with some of the documents expiring before they have been collected.
“Approximately 11 144 passports dating back to 10 years remain uncollected. I am not sure how many are expiring but we have them. Administratively it is difficult and cumbersome to come up with the exact figure of expiring passports within the timeframe of the coming months as the process involves pulling each and every passport from the files to confirm validity for all the 10 provincial offices,” he said.
Mr Masango said the department was facing a backlog due to some constraints although they were working towards setting a timeline of producing passports within a period of four weeks.
“The department is currently experiencing a backlog in the processing of passports dating back to June 2018 due to foreign currency constraints. The department is committed to observing set timelines in the Client Service Charter and produce passports within four weeks. In this regard, the department has come up with an implementation plan to clear the passport backlog subject to availability of resources,” he said.
Mr Masango also highlighted that they have introduced short message service (SMS) to inform applicants when their passports were ready.
“Since 2012, the department introduced SMS to inform members of the public when their passports are ready for collection. We also participate at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) and Provincial Agricultural Shows where members of the public are encouraged to visit the office of issue and collect their passports,” he said.
According to the RG’s Office Clients Service Charter, the cheapest passport valued at $53 should be issued within four weeks. —@ Precious Maphos7