The announcement of the proposed hike of E-Passport prices by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube in the 2024 Budget has triggered pressure at Passport offices, as Zimbabweans jostle to get it at the current prices.
According to the Civil Registry Department, there has been a huge influx of passport applications, a development which has prompted them to extend working hours to accommodate the surge of clients.
The department said returning citizens from the Diaspora are also contributing to the surge in numbers as they are updating their travelling documents.
“The Civil Registry Department wishes to advise its valuable clients that it has extended its working hours in the Passport Section with immediate effect. The Passport Offices will be open Monday to Friday, 0700 – 1900 hours during weekdays and from 0800 to 1500 hours on Saturdays.
“This is in response to an increase in the number of clients visiting our Passport Offices. The festive season is the busiest period for the Department. With industry and schools closed, and returning citizens from the diaspora taking advantage of their visit to have their documents processed, the Department witnesses an influx of clients visiting its passport offices.
“Moreover, the recent announcement by the Government concerning the proposed increase of passport fees with effect from 01 January 2024 has also contributed to clients rushing to apply for passports before the deadline,” reads the statement.
Announcing the 2024 Budget, Proffesor Mthuli proposed an increase in passport fees to US$200, up from US$120 for the ordinary passport and $300, for the emergency passport, up from $200 with effect from 1 January 2024.
There is a high demand of passports in Zimbabwe as people leave the country in their numbers in search for greener pastures in the diaspora