Norton legislator, Temba Mliswa has criticised the government’s decision to cancel valid passports by 2023 saying members of the public went through a lot to attain the travel document.
The government announced statutory instrument (SI) 273 of 2021 which stated that the “current type of passports… will cease to be acceptable internationally by the 31st of December 2023, and will therefore need to be replaced by e-passports in terms of these regulations.”
Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage on Monday says the passport will be valid until they expire, which could be before or after the 31st of December 2023. In response to the development, Mliswa said:
The move to cancel valid passports after only two years when someone struggled to raise over US$300 for it, is immoral to say the least. Normal and standard procedure is to let the old document run its time until it expires and have people get the e-passport.
Why does Gvt have to operate as some capitalist private enterprise out for a profit? This move is insincere and while moving with technology is great, all that is lost in the insensitive trap of making people repeat the passport process twice for a total of over US$400.
The Registrar General’s office has a huge passport backlog as the government is failing to procure enough resources to print passports.
Many Zimbabweans have been applying for the travel document as they seek to escape the biting economy.