Rollout of e-passports to commence this week

Staff Reporter

The Registrar General’s offices will start the issuance of e-passports this week as the equipment and systems needed for the production and issuance of the same was now in place.

Yesterday, Chukkri Assal, the Managing Director of Garsu Pasaulis a company given the task of producing the e-passports, said the issuance of the e-passports would commence this week and they hoped for a seamless process.

“We are going to start issuing the passports within the next three days and training of staff was key to come up with a seamless process,” said Assal.

Yesterday, workers from the Registrar General’s offices underwent a training to mark the changeover from the old to the new system. Assal said the training and the simulation of the new system was vital as it gave the Registrar General personnel a chance to assess the new system.

“The change over from the old to new system requires extensive training of personnel and we are happy that we have completed the process,” said Assal.

Garsu Pasaulis is expected to establish the e-passport production infrastructure in other provinces and Bulawayo is next on the list.

Last week, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister, Kazembe Kazembe revised fees for the e-passport, scrapping the US$20 application fee that was to be collected by the CBZ bank. Minister Kazembe said that the passports issued on non-emergency basis would cost US$100.00 while emergency passports will now cost US$200.00.

The rollout of e-passports is expected to clear the passport backlog that stood at 184 000 as of October last year.