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    Thursday, June 13, 2024

    Zimbabwe Starts Processing E-Passports in SA

    Zimbabwe has started processing e-passports for its citizens in South Africa, with a newly refurbished building now set for commissioning after the conclusion of the elections in that country.

    The issuing of the e-passports follows President Mnangagwa's directive that such documents should be accessible to all Zimbabweans regardless of where they live.

    A team of officials from the Registrar General's office and other consultants are already in South Africa training the consulate staff, who will be involved in the processing of the e-passports.

    Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Permanent Secretary Ambassador Raphael Faranisi yesterday said that Zimbabweans had started accessing e-passport services in South Africa.

    "The process of issuing the e-passports is already ongoing. As I speak, the e-passports are already being processed and there is training.

    "Once the consultants leave, our consulate staff can take care of any problems that emerge," he said.

    Ambassador Faranisi said the office would be commissioned in due course once the South African elections have been settled.

    An official from the relevant South African ministry will join Zimbabwe's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.

    "The commissioning will be done at a date to be advised and the proposal is that our Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade commission the project.

    "It would have been done earlier but you are aware that in South Africa they are still in an electoral period. Just like any other country, you don't go and commission by yourselves because that's foreign land. What we expect is, when our ministers go there, they will invite the host ministry responsible for immigration matters and then they commission in their presence.

    "The commissioning will be done soon. Once there is a new Government, then we will arrange with our embassy on the most suitable date to do the commissioning. It will be two issues, to commission the new building as well as the e-passports," he said.

    The consulate staff in South Africa, said Ambassador Faranisi, were currently being trained on the practical and theory sides of e-passport processing by staff from the Registrar General's office and the consultants.

    "Initially it was to give them the theoretical aspect, then the second stage of training involves the actually processing of the forms, doing the actual work," he said.

    Plans are also already underway to open five more e-passport offices abroad, including in the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and the United States as the Second Republic walks its talk on bringing services closer to the people, locally and abroad.

    Government has since opened several e-passport centres within Zimbabwe including in Guruve, Gwanda, Gweru, Lupane, Marondera, Beitbridge, Chitungwiza, Hwange, Mazowe, Murehwa, Zvishavane, Chinhoyi and Guruve, to add to the facilities at Chiwashira Muchecheterwa Building in Harare and at provincial and district offices in Bulawayo.

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