The Registrar-General’s (RG) Office says it has issued over 350 000 e-passports to date, clearing the national backlog that stood at 200 000 in January.
In an interview with State media, Registrar-General Henry Machiri also said plans to decentralise the service are now at an advanced stage. He said:
Since we started the e-passport programme on January 18, I can confirm that we have issued over 350 000 passports.
We successfully cleared the passport backlog in September this year.
We asked all those who had applied for passports to go and collect their documents.
We are happy with the progress we have made so far, and we are looking forward to expanding the e-passport enrolment programme to all the districts countrywide.
We have plans to expand to Chinhoyi, Marondera, and Mutare, going down to all the districts.
Besides expanding offices in the country, Government will also be establishing passport enrolment centres at selected embassies across the world.
Garsu Pasaulis, a security printing company that was engaged by the government to set up modern national biometric infrastructure for the production of the new e-passport, national identity cards, resident permits, and visas, reportedly has the capacity to print more than 5 000 passports a day.
An official report detailing the e-passport programme obtained by The Sunday Mail states:
We are delighted to report that, since the inception of the e-passports project, Garsu Pasaulis has managed to cumulatively produce a total of 352 156 ordinary and express e-passports as of December 3, 2022.
In addition to the above, the company has also produced several diplomatic and service passports on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe.
The company invested in high-end, state-of-the-art passport personalisation machines which are capable of printing over 500 passports per hour.
Depending on the number of applications received, the company has a production capacity that can enable the printing of more than 5 000 passports per day.