The secretary of Information, Nick Mangwana has dismissed reports suggesting that the government has stopped the production of electronic passports following a major breakdown. He posted on Twitter this Sunday:
We have noted a news article circulating on social media, suggesting that the processing of the Zimbabwean E-passport has been put on hold indefinitely. This is incorrect. We would like to categorically state that the new E-passport is being processed.
NewZimbabwe.com earlier reported that passport seekers at the Harare Registrar General’s office were sent back home Saturday by an official who said there was a huge breakdown of machines.
The publication said in an audio recording circulating, an official at the main office was heard telling people to go back home until further notice. Said the official:
The processing machine has broken down; can you please go home. Government will announce the way forward in the media.
The whole nation has been affected and no passports are being processed at the moment because of that.
This is not a small breakdown, it is a major breakdown. Beware of thieves and scammers who will try to steal your money by lying they can help you process passports.
Nothing is working, everywhere even in Bulawayo, even birth certificates have been affected.
The publication also said it contacted Home Affairs secretary Aaron Nhepera who said he was not privy to the developments on the ground as he was travelling from Masvingo.
Zimbabwe introduced electronic passports last December to replace old non-biometric passports which will be obsolete in December 2023.
Garsu Pasaulis a Lithuanian company, was awarded the tender to produce them.