Mudede explains passport delays

HARARE - The Registrar-General’s Office has been failing to process passports within the given timescale.

Normal passport applications, processed within three months, have been dragging beyond this time frame, with those who lodged applications in Harare in May yet to get their travel documents up to now.

Those wishing to apply for urgent passports are being turned away or given stringent conditions, which many cannot meet.

The passport office admits it is experiencing exceptional demand for passports, but has insisted they are clearing the backlog of travel documents at its offices.

Such a claim has been challenged by officials, who speak of hundreds of files stored in a meeting room at a passport office in Harare. Officials said they have had hundreds of complaints from angry constituents facing delays to passport applications.

Dispelling reports that they had run out of paper to print passports; Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede told the Daily News that they were expecting the situation to be back to normal next week, after clearing most of the backlog.

“I am actually meeting with people from the passport office, there is nothing like that, it is just that we have a backlog.

“We are discharging this backlog and we cannot take the other applications because we do not want to keep piling up. And that is why people are being told to come back next week,” Mudede said.

“It’s first-come first-serve, so even for those emergency ones, we want to clear and give those who applied first.  This is a temporary situation.”

Social media has been awash with reports that the RG’s office has run out of printing paper, resulting in anger being directed at the passport office.

The department upgraded its system last year, enabling applicants to access application forms online to ease queues that had become a permanent feature at the offices.

It also introduced a short message service platform where it updates applicants on their applications, and instant photographs facility.

An inside source said: “We are no longer issuing urgent passports. Normal applications are being submitted but the process will no longer take three months — it might get to six months or even a year because it seems we have run out of materials.

“We have been instructed to stop issuing urgent passports and I think a few will only be authorised by the bosses and by Mudede himself.”

Comments (5)

mudede must resign with emmediate effect

g40 - 14 September 2017

Tobaiwa Watibaya please you have past your sell by date can you retire, thank you

NHOHOREKA - 15 September 2017

May you please increase your shift hours or if its possible to work around the clock so as to clear the backlog.

sakazi - 7 October 2017

I applied for a change of surname passport last year in 2017.it came out in November last year and my sister was notified by sms.In January 2018 I was notified that the passport is missing.efforts to conduct the efforts through phoning has been fruitless. I don't know what to do because right now my salary has been terminated and still working under government of south Africa.I do not know what to do to get a passport that has been lost or misplacedwithin registers offces.pliz help.my id is 63-894961t26.

Felistus Mafugu - 14 March 2018

I applied for a change of surname passport last year in 2017.it came out in November last year and my sister was notified by sms.In January 2018 I was notified that the passport is missing.efforts to conduct the registers office through phoning has been fruitless. I don't know what to do because right now my salary has been terminated and still working under government of south Africa.I do not know what to do to get a passport that has been lost or misplacedwithin registers offces.pliz help.my id is 63-894961t26.

Felistus Mafugu - 14 March 2018

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