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Zimbabweans in South Africa Complain Zimbabwean Consulate Slowing Down Regularization Process

  • Tatenda Gumbo

South African advocacy group People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty or PASSOP says many Zimbabweans were obliged to pay bribes of 20 to 50 rand (US$3-7) to collect their passports

Many Zimbabweans living in South Africa say they still have not gotten passports from their consulate in the country, preventing them from completing residency applications.

They complain that the scheduled delivery of passports earlier this month was marred by confusion, leaving thousands of expatriates unable to claim their documents.

Zimbabwean authorities announced a three-day period from April 28 to 30 during which Zimbabweans could collect passports from temporary office in Cape Town.

But a South African advocacy group, People Against Suffering Oppression and Poverty or PASSOP, says thousands of Zimbabweans were unable to go to the temporary office during that window of time, or if they did, were unable to get their documents.

Zimbabwean officials established the temporary office in Cape Town following complaints from expatriates after authorities initially said passports would only be handed out by the Johannesburg consulate - but the alternative location was poorly publicized.

PASSOP says many Zimbabweans were obliged to pay bribes of 20 to 50 rand to collect their passports. PASSOP Project Assistant Langton Miriyoga says his group monitored the process closely and documented many cases in which bribes were extracted.

Miriyoga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Tatenda Gumbo that the entire process has led the advocacy group to appeal for South African authorities to intervene with Harare.

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