De­cen­tral­i­sa­tion of pass­port of­fices gath­ers pace

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

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.

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