The Zimbabwean government says passport seekers living outside the country are now supposed to fork out US$318 with immediate effect.
According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, the government has given the Civil Registry Department permission to increase the fee in an effort to clear a huge backlog of unprocessed passports due to lack of foreign currency to purchase material for making the documents.
The newspaper quoted Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe as saying the government is concerned about the plight of citizens who are failing to get passports inside and outside the country.
He said, “… Citizens in the Diaspora need to have valid passports in order to regularise their stay in the host countries. As a way of assisting the department to attend to requirements for passports by citizens in the Diaspora, government has therefore authorised the Civil Registry Department to charge US$318 for passports, in respect of those in the Diaspora. The applications will be prioritised on an urgent basis.”
The government is working on modalities to implement the new measures with indications that the passport fee remain the same for people living in the country.