By Shami Lynette Makombe
HOME Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe has reviewed the e-passport fees following a public outcry over the bank charges of US$20.
Zimbabwe government last month launched a new electronic passport (e-passport) and stipulated that current local passports will no longer be valid as at the end of 2023.
Charges for the new e-passports were also gazetted: US$100 for an ordinary e-passport and US$200 for an emergency or express e-passport.
Home Affairs Ministry underscored that the new e-passport “will protect the privacy of our citizens given the embedded features which protect against identity theft and counterfeiting” adding that it will also enhance security standards at ports of entry.
But the sticking point as far as many Zimbabweans were concered was the issue of the US$20 application which the government wanted payable through CBZ Bank. Critics argued that it was a bad precedence for Government to gazette a law that benefitted a single specific entity.
In the latest Statutory Instrument 3 of 2023 gazetted on the 7th of January 2022, Government appears to have bowed down to pressure and has scrapped the mandatory US$20 application fee. HourlyHits presents the latest Statutory Instrument:
Statutory Instrument 3 of 2022
[CAP. 4:01 Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations. 2022
IT is hereby notified that the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage has, in terms of section 22 of the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 4:01]. made the following regulations:—
1. These regulations may be cited as the Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations, 2022.
2. For the purposes of these regulations—”passport” means a machine-readable passport or an electronically-readable passport.
3. The Minister has fixed passport fees as specified in the Schedule.
The fees payable for obtaining one’s passport shall be—
(a) passport issued on non-emergency basis……………………USD$100,00
(b) emergency passport ……………………………………………………….USDS200.00.
4. The Citizenship (Passport Fees) Regulations, 2021, published in Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021, are repealed.