Massive backlog forces suspension of emergency passports

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Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Registrar General’s Office has temporarily suspended issuing emergency passports to clear a backlog of over 2 000 passports.

Members of the public who are seeking the emergency travelling documents are forced to apply for the “normal” passport which costs $53 and is now being released after about two months as a result of the backlog.

Normally the passport is released within three weeks of application.

An emergency passport which takes 24 hours to be released costs $318 while the one released in three days costs $253.

In an interview, yesterday Registrar General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede said his office was trying to clear the passport backlog hence the need to temporarily reject new applications for emergency passports.

“We have a backlog of nearly 2 000 passports and that’s a lot. We have not suspended issuing passports, there is a backlog that we are trying to clear. This thing is temporary. We don’t force situations,” said Mr Mudede.

“If you want to use the word we have ‘slowed down’ in accepting applications, that’s the right language to use. We will start accepting applications for emergency passports once we clear the backlog,” said Mr Mudede.

He said it will not make sense for his office to continue accepting new applicants for emergency passports when his officers are battling to clear the backlog.

Mr Mudede said his office does not want to find itself being persecuted publicly for failing to deliver hence the need to slow down in taking people’s money.

“We must deal with the backlog and finish before we open again for new applications. To accept new applications and just park them is not the right thing to do. You wouldn’t like that, you will say no no why have you accepted my money when you cannot deliver,” he said.

Mr Mudede said when people submit their applications they expect to receive their passports within the prescribed period so to avoid inconveniencing the people, his office has temporarily suspended receiving new applications especially for emergency passports that should be availed within hours or few days.

Many people who applied for normal passports, some as far back as May this year, are yet to receive them and this has been blamed on the reduced numbers being processed by the RG’s office.

The applicants said they are in the dark as to what has caused the delays given that in the past it was just a three-week wait for a normal passport.

“The RG’s office has since been computerised and the processing of passports was supposed to be faster compared to the past when the whole process was manual,” said one of the applicants who said she submitted her application in May.

The applicants called on the RG’s office to urgently address the issue of the backlog, saying passports are very important travel documents.

@nqotshili

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  • Cetshwayo

    Its not a normal country hence anything is impossible….a 90 something old women who can barely think is clinging to power like a bad habit, this Mudede guy has been at the helm for decades as if he is the only who can lead sies….a banana republic fo sho. Izilima lezi zibulele shame

    • God of War

      What 90 year old “women” are you talking about? Stay off kachasu in the morning.

  • Brutal Truth

    Poor Mudede!Ofcourse we know that some of the workforce in your department has been redeployed to start making fake & ghost entries in the ZEC biometric voter registration system to enable Zanu PF to rig next year’s elections.We are not fools like you,idiot!

  • Richard Vuma

    Cde Tobaiwa, a backlog of only 2000 passports, not 200,0000 or more, has affected your computerized operations? Seriously?

    • makhosi

      Surely not 2000!! How many passports are issued a day?? Good observation Richard.

  • Citizenofearth

    He cant be serious, 2000 passports!!!!!. Not even car factories can call 2000 cars a massive backlog. Honestly, how many passports are produced per day????

  • mtshayazabhotshe

    massive backlog mr mudede?meaning a mere 2000 passports?seriously……it shows how disconnect you are sir with reality.how many passports does your offices release daily?………3?….

  • DOCTOR NGWENYA

    TOBAIWA BE SERIOUS DONT TELL US RUBBISH.TELL US THE TRUTH YOU ARE NOW HOLDING PASSPORT FOR THIS UNCONSIDERED ELECTIONS.GIVE PEOPLE
    PASSPORTS TO WERE EVER THEY WANT TO LOOK FOR JOBS AND SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL OR BUY FOOD FOR THEIR SUFFERING PARENTS.INSTEAD OF SITTING IN A POOR COUNTRY WHICH YOU DESTROYED.

  • Afonso Haram

    A backlog of 2000 seriously??…….we are not that stupid to buy this nonsense.Better say nothing and keep it to yourself

  • Martin Chipimo

    Interesting excuse “A backlog of 2000 passports”, so how many passport does your system produce each day of operation?

  • Hayibo !

    I am failing to understand how learned people like Mr Mudede fail to see simple logic. If you have to suspend any processing of passports , it should not be the emergency passport. You can suspend the ordinary passport and not the emergency passport. Emergency is urgent . Please revise your logic.

    • Jojochenjera

      On what basis are you suggesting that Mudede is learned? In fact, he’s way past his sell-by-date and on top of that, a mere political appointee.

  • Jojochenjera

    In the greater scheme of operations, 2000 passports is a minuscule number. It would have instructive had the RG had told us how many passports are printed per day. That’s what we get for employing people who should be enjoying their pensions.