No ticket to ride: Zimbabweans trapped for months without passports

Published: 8/Jul/2019
Source: The Guardian (London)

With the registry office facing a backlog of 280,000 applications, some people have waited close to a year to work or study abroad

Nyasha Chingono

Every morning for the past two months Eldah Makuvise, 35, has braved the cold winter mornings to queue for her passport at the local registry office in Harare, Zimbabwe. Each time she’s been sent away in despair.

Makuvise’s application, like others submitted a year ago, is stuck in a huge passport backlog.

Zimbabwe’s passport office has seen an influx of applications as economic woes push more people to search for work in other countries.

Inflation in Zimbabwe has hit a 10-year record of close to 100%, the second highest rate in the world after Venezuela.

The registry office can only process 50 passports a day. It has bemoaned the lack of foreign currency available to import paper and is now faced with a backlog of 280,000 applications.

The Zimbabwe human rights commission has begun inquiries into the delay of passports and national identification documents following a public outcry.

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Themes: ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Zimbabwe
Year: 2019