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Tuesday, Feb 19th

Zim's passport applications go online

zimpassport

Zimbabweans can now download passport and other personal document application forms online, as the government attempts to unclog backlogs that have dogged the nation for years.

Zimbabweans in large numbers throng the country’s Registrar General (RG) offices everyday to get personal documents such as identity cards, passports; and birth, marriage and death certificates.

Long queues have become commonplace at these offices, as the country has a huge backlog regarding applications.

However, Kembo Mohadi, the Zimbabwean co-home affairs minister, said yesterday that the RG’s office has put these documents online, in a bid to speed up the processing time of these crucial documents.

“People will be able to download the form and only go to the Passport Office to get a serial number and pay for the document and submit the form. The Registrar General’s Office has digitised and soon everything will be very efficient,” he said.

It costs $250 to process an emergency passport, which will be issued within three days according to officials. Meanwhile, an ordinary passport application – processed within a sluggish period of up to three months – costs $50.

“As long as the headquarters is connected, that means all offices countrywide would have the facility (online),” added Mohadi.

But the digitisation of the application process is not a guarantee of shorter queues at these offices, owing to the country’s low internet penetration rates.

Just 12% of Zimbabwe’s 12,084,304 people have access to the internet, according to Internet World Stats.

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