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Zimbabwe reports progress on biometric passport, ID card issuance

Zimbabwe reports progress on biometric passport, ID card issuance

Zimbabwe announced its government has issued more than 110,000 biometric passports just six months after launching the program, according to The Sunday News.

At least one million national ID cards and birth certificates have also been delivered since a special campaign launched in April.

The outlet quotes Zimbabwe’s Registrar General Henry Machiri, who said a total of 110, 195 passports had been issued as of June 3, 2022.

With this pace, the official is hopeful the current backlog of 200,000 passports (the machine-readable version) will be cleared by the end of the year.

Countries around the world, from Nigeria to Canada, have been struggling to enroll people’s biometrics to clear passport backlogs.

Machiri also spoke about the move to decentralize the production of the new generation passports, which is paying off as the travel document is now being issued not only in Harare and Bulawayo, but also in the districts of Lupane, Chitungwiza, Hwange, and Murewa.

ID card progress

Speaking about national ID cards, the official said there has also been some progress since his office launched a special campaign on April 1. He said as of May 31, 2022, a total of 508,886 ID cards, 549,960 birth certificates, and 19,037 death certificates had been issued.

The plan by the government is to issue over a million ID cards and birth certificates during the special registration campaign, which is due to end on September 30, according to the Registrar General’s office.

The birth certificate and the national ID are vital for the procurement of passports and driver’s licenses, officials say.

Additionally, the report mentions that President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently called on Zimbabweans to take advantage of the special campaign to secure these important ID credentials.

“(N)o one should be left behind during this ongoing registration process,” Mnangagwa said at the opening ceremony of the Murewa District Registry Office.

“Under the second republic, every citizen is important and has the obligation to contribute to the development of our motherland, as we accelerate the attainment of Vision 2030.”

To meet the target on passports and civil ID issuance, registration offices have seen working hours extended, while passport offices also open their doors on Saturdays to receive service seekers.

Zimbabwe has also recently completed the second phase of its mobile biometric voter registration campaign.

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