Registrar General, Clement Masango says the government is only printing 100 passports a day due to shortages of materials and they are contemplating on reintroducing emergency travelling documents to ease the pressure.
Addressing the press on a side-line of a ground-breaking ceremony for a new Registrar General’s office and the drug rehabilitation centre in Cowdray Park, Friday, Masango said the materials available at the moment is enough to print 100 passports a day across the country.
“There has been a procurement which has been made and we look forward to attaining more material. We understand the backlog we have is too much but we are doing our best to clear it,” said Masango.
The Registrar general said all things being equal, the backlog could be cleared within 100 working days.
“Once we get materials required, arrangements can be made to dedicate part of the staff to clear the backlog while some works on new applications. All things being equal we have the capacity to clear the backlog within 100 working days,” he said.
Masango said the government at the moment is incapacitated to make a once-off purchase of the required material, however, the payment that has been made currently has served as an unlocking mechanism of supply and deliveries will be ongoing.
He further urged government officials to desist from taking advantage of the people’s desperate situation through taking bribes.
“Officials caught accepting bribes from clients will face the full wrath of the law. They are supposed to be content with the remuneration they are getting from the government, if they feel the money is too little they should find elsewhere to go,” said Masango.
Masango said when the situation normalises, citizens will be alerted in the form of a press statement.
He said although there are people whose line of business depends on the availability of passports, the office is strictly following the order of the queue.
“Those who are in a rush to acquire the documents can approach the offices, if their destinations accept temporary travelling documents then the office can be able to avail those,” he said.