Decentralisation of passport offices gathers pace
GOVERNMENT is finalising modalities to de-centralise issuance of passports and civil registration documents to decongest provincial offices, our Harare Bureau has learnt.
This comes amid concerted efforts to improve the ease of doing business, as the country moves towards achieving a upper middle-income status economy by 2030. Speaking to our Harare Bureau recently, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema said Government’s ultimate goal was to ensure people acquire passports and other identity documents at district level.
“We are going to decentralise issuance of passport, birth certificate and national identity documents to the lowest district level. Issuance of passports will be increased because it is every Zimbabwean’s constitutional right to obtain the travel document. The whole administration of systems in Home Affairs ministry will be computerised.”
In a separate interview, Registrar General Mr Clemence Masango said the travel and identity document decentralisation plan was long overdue.
“People will pay the fee online, apply online and then download the form to present it physically to passport offices for capturing of biometrics. This also minimises chances of corruption,” said Mr Masango.
“We get reports of touts who assist people to jump the queue or ask for payment to facilitate quick processing of documents. If application is done online, we reduce such incidences.”
He said plans were on course to introduce an electronic queue management system and install CCTV cameras in order to monitor performance and movement of staff at the registry offices.