The Civil Registry Department’s digitisation (passports, national ID, birth certificates etc) rollout is set for December according to Minister for Home Affairs, Kazembe Kazembe. The system which was announced in May will build a digital biometric database for Zimbabweans to access national documents.
“The rollout is in December. Meanwhile, we will continue to do what we have been doing. The migration will commence in December but they have already started working.”Kazembe Kazembe, Minister for Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage (via The Chronicle)
This means (if it comes to pass) that those in the diaspora or who don’t have a Registrar office nearby can get the documents online, network consistency and coverage permitting.
As I am sure you are all too aware, getting a national document is, on the best of days an extreme sport, and on the worst impossible. The Registrar’s Office still has a backlog of 225 747 passports with some applications being logged as early as 2019.
This has also been compounded by the perennial issue of a lack of materials to produce IDs and other documents. To aid in this the government is said to have partnered with players in the private sector to meet the shortfall of materials.
“The partnership will increase the passport production capacity to four million units per year, resulting not only in the clearance of the current backlog, but also meeting the daily demand and enabling the country’s embassies to issue passports to Zimbabwean citizens abroad,”Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services
Four million passports a year? A high target and I am sure that Zimbabweans will hold them to this.
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