Kudakwashe Tagwirei loses lucrative e-passport deal

by Tulip Charowa

ZANU PF linked business tycoon Kudakwashe Tagwirei lost a lucrative e-passport deal after CBZ Bank Limited, a financial institution linked to him, lost a controversial deal that would see it pocket US$20 for every e-passport application.

Founded in 1980, CBZ Bank Limited became Zimbabwe’s largest financial services conglomerate after its recent merger with First Mutual Holdings Limited.

A longtime ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Tagwirei is one of the largest individual shareholders in the financial institution through his company, Sotic International.

As reported by HourlyHits, CBZ Bank earlier bagged a controversial deal that would see it pocket US$20 for every e-passport application made by Zimbabweans.

With all Zimbabwean passports set to expire by December 2023, the arrangement would see the bank rake in millions of dollars in bank fees.

There are more than 6 million passport holders in Zimbabwe and thousands of individuals intending to apply.

Experts criticized the deal and called for its revocation.

In response to the outcries, the government canceled the controversial arrangement that required citizens to pay US$20 to the bank as processing fees for their e-passport applications.

The development contained in a supplementary gazette dated January 7, also pegged the e-passport application fees at US$100 and US$200 for standard and urgent applications.

In its last reported financial statement for the half-year period, CBZ Bank reported a profit after tax of ZWL2.43 billion (US$6.7 million), down 36 percent from the same period last year.

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