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242 Diasporans apply for passports

242 Diasporans apply for  passports

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe yesterday dismissed as false social media reports circulating purporting that passport fees for Zimbabweans resident in the country had gone up. – Picture: Believe Nyakudjara

Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
TWO-HUNDRED-AND-FORTY-TWO people living in the Diaspora have since last week successfully applied and obtained their passports.

Last week, the Government authorised the Civil Registry Department to charge US$318 for passports in respect of those in the Diaspora, while local charges remained unchanged.

In an interview yesterday, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe confirmed the developments.

“In respect of those in the Diaspora, the process is working very well and we have been seeing an overwhelming response.

“Last Thursday, we received about 47 people that applied and they successfully collected their passports within 24 hours; that was on the following day. And last Friday, we received about 195 people who applied and they will collect their passports today (yesterday),” he said.

Minister Kazembe said the local fees remained unchanged, despite false reports yesterday that the Government had increased the charges.

The reports followed fake messages circulating on social media that passport fees for locally-based Zimbabweans had been reviewed. The fake messages said locals were now being charged $530 for an ordinary passport, $3 180 for an urgent passport and $2 000 for a passport issued in three weeks.

Minister Kazembe said there were procedures that had to be followed first before new charges for local passports could be approved.

“The local prices have not changed. We are not trying to make profits out of it. Passports are documents that our citizens are supposed to have. So, Government will still subsidise them, but we are simply saying the fees that people are paying right now are not sustainable but they (charges) have not gone up as yet. No!” he said.

The minister said details on the implementation of an increase are being worked out by the Civil Registry Department in consultation with other stakeholders.