Paul Nyathi|Following a huge influx of Emergency Passports applications, government through the Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to create a committee that will sit and determine who gets the emergency passport document.
The committee will be responsible for going through all the urgent passport applications to decide which applicant genuinely deserves an urgent passport.
The centralised Zimbabwean passport processing office in Harare has for the last three years been battling to contend with the high demand for the travel documents with a backlog of over 300 000 applications.
The passports are taking up to a year or more to be processed. The delays have seen most applicants opting to apply for the more expensive urgent passport which coats $253 and under normal circumstances should be processed in less than seven days.
To reduce the number of applications for the urgent passport processing, government introduced the committee which will determine who is elligible for the document.
The move also comes in the wake of reports of massive corruption at the passport office whereby some applicants were paying bribes of around US$200 to have their passport applications processed expeditiously.
The passport backlog is so bad that some applicants were being asked to come back in 2022 to collect their documents. The government is battling a backlog of over 350 000 passports while only producing less than 800 passports per day.