Govt Hikes Passport Fees By Nearly 150 Percent
The government has hiked passport fees. The increase in passport fees comes after months of the Registrar General’s department complaining that the current passport fees are inadequate. The government also said that it is now permissible for citizens to pay for their passports using foreign currency.
The government announced the passport fees following Tuesday’s cabinet meeting. In the cabinet media briefing, the government announced that the passport fee for an Ordinary passport is now ZWL$150 from ZWL$53 translating to a 190 percent increase.
The passport fee for an Emergency Passport, on the other hand, is now ZWL$600 from ZWL$263, translating to a 130 percent increase.
Speaking at the post-cabinet briefing in Harare today, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, who Ministry oversees the passport office said that citizens will now also be able to pay for their passorts in foreign currency.
“Clearing our passport backlog that currently stands at 400 000 is not going to happen soon. However, as government we are subsidising the issuance of passports because it is a basic right for citizens to have the identification documents.
“We have revised upwards our ordinary and emergency passport fees application from RTGS$53 and RTGS$253 to RTGS$150 and RTGS$600, respectively.
“Because we are subsidising the production of passports, cabinet has also approved that citizens can make their applications using foreign currency. We are just waiting for Finance Minister Prof. Mthuli Ncube to come up with a Statutory Instrument,”
The hike in the passport fees comes barely a week after the Registrar’s Office announced that it had stopped printing ordinary passports because they were not economically feasible.
Registrar General Clemence Masango himself told the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence, Home Affairs and Security Services that the passport office was only printing urgent passports and passports for people in the diaspora who can pay for the valuable documents using foreign currency.
At that time, Masango said that those individuals who had applied for ordinary passports in the past, need to top up with a further $200 to ensure that their passports are upgraded to urgent status and printed.
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