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Lawyers Challenge Govt, CBZ Bank Electronic Passport Deal

Lawyers Challenge Govt, CBZ Bank Electronic Passport Deal

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) lawyers have written a letter to Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe raising several issues to do with Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021.

SI 273 of 2021 was promulgated early this week stipulating the application fees for electronic passports.

According to the regulations, the ordinary e-passport will cost US$100 while an emergency or express e-passport will cost US$200.

The Government also gave passport holders until 31 December 2023 to swap their passports for a new electronic passport (e-passport).

Moreover, the SI says a nominal fee of US$20 shall be charged for every passport application fee processed at any CBZ Bank Branch Countrywide.

Businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei, who is close to ZANU PF and the Government and is under US sanctions, reportedly owns a 30% stake in CBZ Holdings.

In a statement issued on Thursday, ZLHR said they had given Kazembe a 48-hour ultimatum to explain the criterion used to select CBZ Holdings to receive and process passport application fees. The statement read:

We have written a letter to Home Affairs & Cultural Heritage Minister Hon. Kazembe Kazembe telling him that his decision to make the current passport non-operational & non-functional by 31 December 2023 is grossly unreasonable as many citizens had obtained or renewed their current passports & had parted with hefty sums of money in paying the prescribed passport fees.

We told him that it is grossly unreasonable & unfair to impose an obligation on current passport holders to apply for an e-passport by December 2023 even when their current passports still have many years running before their expiration date.

We said this is a violation of the right to administrative conduct which is substantially fair & reasonable & hence is a breach of Section 68 of the Constitution. We also asked Hon. Kazembe to furnish us with the procedures & criteria used to designate CBZ Bank as the entity to be processing e-passports.

We stated that in terms of Section 35(3) of the Constitution, it is the State’s primary obligation to provide citizens with passports & other identity documents. Govt announced that CBZ Bank will be tasked with the processing of all passport applications at an additional cost of US$20.

We requested this information in the interest of public accountability & transparency. We gave Hon. Kazembe a 48 –hour ultimatum to respond to the issues of concern which we raised in our letter.

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10 Comments

Nkust 8 months ago

Besides lawyers for human rights zvimwe zvinhu ma citizens we should collectively fight put partisan politics aside we should not let politicians with any party interest decide our fate firstly there is this issue yema China also issue yema rights women are given a lot of rights to the extent of being no equal rights at all as men are left with no rights at all, again this cyber bill tangonyarara, nyaya yema running mates was in the Constitution but we leave all this to another political party to fight on our behalf how if it(the other opposing party ) is in support of that so on matters that affect the citizenry across all political divide let's try to form a citizen group like a neighborhood watch committee and fight it and where we don't invite all known political figures who may want to hijack the initiative to further his her political party interest


David Muchandiziva 7 months ago

ED and cronies are recklessly destroying the country's future with impunity. We need to unite against these barbaric policies and decisions

Wiseman 7 months ago

I'm backing you 1000%

Vee 8 months ago

It is possible that the ministry simply holds an account with the mentioned bank. The freedom to associate, as constitutionally sanctioned, would guarantee the ministry's right to enjoy such a right. That is if such right exists in the first place, for such an organisation


Jambwa 7 months ago

Why that particular bank in question? Ministries always hold accounts in every existing bank in the country so why a particular bank that is owned by a well known looter and best friend of ED

Mamoe 8 months ago

Uum zvinorwadza zvimweni zvinomboitwa dai vat vanepassport ekudhara paanoExpire ndopozotora maElectronic awowo.


Gidza 7 months ago

For how long should we be silent. Zimbabweans waaaaake uuup.


Zman 7 months ago

Machinda arikutitonga aya anemangoromera chete aya hakuna zvimwe bcz zvivindi zvavainazvo zvinopusha chitima


T man 7 months ago

Gud idea


Manikiniki 7 months ago

This is grossly unfair, why not let the current passports expire at their orininal expiry dates. If the passport has not reached its expiry date then replacement should be free and swift for the convenience of the holder as this is just as good as breach of contract on the part of the issuing authority so why should the recipient be seen to be paying the price. This is a saddist government that will never ever want to see its citizens happy, they derive great pleasure in seeing us suffering always whilst they re squandering and enjoying the country's resources which we are all supposed to enjoy. The passport issue is very painful to say the least.


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