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Old Passports Still Valid

Harare Correspondent

Following the launch and issuance of a new electronic passport in Zimbabwe, old passports will still be valid until they reach their expiry date, government revealed.

Citizens were still to find out on the farce, having some who had just collected their poss ports few months ago and said to automatically be invalid by December 2023.

The Zimbabwe ministry of Home Affairs said the online application for passports was open for both normal and electronic passports.

“The normal passport application procedure is going on and non-biometric passports will work until they expire. In line with the COVID-19 restrictions and your convenience, issuance of biometric or e-passports is only done online.

Anyone can apply for a biometric passport whether your passport has expired or you have it or you have applied before as long as you are a Zimbabwean citizen,” the ministry said.

Legislators who spoke to this publication said it was not proper to short change people especially after the known struggle of applying ang getting a passport in Zimbabwe.

Application and collection of a passport was marred by corruption with one forced to folk out more than USD $200 for easy and fast production of his or her passport.

This also triggered another question among citizens to why the new e-passport fee of  US$20 or $2 400 should be deposited with CBZ Holdings or First Capital Bank and not all banks.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights challenged a decision by the government to grant CBZ Holdings monopoly to collect the application fees.

Citizens were against this idea, knowing CBZ major shareholder was Kudakwashe Tagwirei who is a business tycoon getting business tenders and opportunities from government and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

For that same reason Tagwirei was placed under sanctions a year ago together with his businesses.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the e-passport on December 14. An ordinary e-passport costs US$100 and an emergency one costs US$200.

The move to change to E-passport is inline with the new world order, migration to digital platforms and Zimbabwe will not be left behind.