Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Government yesterday said it will soon launch an incorruptible e-passport with enhanced security features.
An e-passport is a travel document with an individual’s biometric features.
In 2016, Government launched the state of the art e-passport production equipment which will result in the Registrar General’s Office producing over 16 000 passports a day.
Home Affairs and Culture Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said anytime from now Government will be launching the e-passport.
“It (e-passport) is already in place and it’s now a question of launching it. We’re going to be launching soon as it was one of our targets within the 100 day period,” he said.
Dr Mpofu said the e-passport would be internationally recognised as its biometric features cannot be tampered with.
“Our passports are special passports especially now that we are going to embark on an e-passport. It will be quite a development which will make our passports internationally recognised because of its features that cannot be compromised by whatever means,” he said.
Dr Mpofu said introducing the new passports would deal with previous incidents where unscrupulous individuals would forge the travel document.
“We had incidents where our passports were forged. But the e-passport will be internationally recognised because it will have incorruptible features,” he said.
The launch of the e-passport is also expected to address challenges which had seen the Registrar General’s Office delaying to release passports.
Members of the public have in the past complained over delays in the issuance of passports with the responsible department blaming foreign currency shortages for the situation.
Dr Mpofu said Government had addressed the foreign currency challenges that had seen the RG’s Office struggling to procure passport production material.
“There were logistical issues in accessing material used in the production of passports. I think that has been addressed and the department should now be in a position to process passports,” he said.