Zimbabwe upgrades to enable online application for biometric passports, ID cards
The Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ministry of Zimbabwe has announced that a process is underway to upgrade its national population registry system (ZPRS) and link it to several vital government services, which will make it possible to apply for documents such as passports and national ID cards online. At the moment, application files for these credentials are submitted at physical offices.
The ZPRS is the main database which contains the biographical and biometric data of all Zimbabwean citizens.
According to reporting by The Sunday Mail, cutting-edge equipment such as servers have already been acquired for the ZPRS upgrade, while the portal for the submission of application requests for ID documents is expected to go live by the end of the year.
In addition, officials say the modernized citizen database will also be linked to facilities like hospitals in order to streamline the process of birth registration and the issuance of birth certificates. Once linked, the Civil Registry Department will immediately be informed whenever a new birth happens, making it possible to quickly establish a birth record for a child and the assigning of unique identification numbers to them.
The outlet quotes Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe as saying in a previous interview that the population register upgrade is part of the country’s digital transformation agenda which has already seen the rollout of biometric passports.
Kazembe Kazembe also dispelled rumours that the online portal to receive passports, ID cards and birth certificates applications has already gone operational. He said the system is still being deployed and the nation shall be appropriately informed as soon as that happens.
The Minister said these measures are also meant to ensure that the digital transformation train leaves no one behind.
In July, the Zimbabwean government announced the launch of what it calls the Online Border Management System (OBMS) for the online processing of visas and residence permits.