Economic downturn fuels passport demand

Zim passports are in demand as the economy fails

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
08 January 2014

The emerging economic crisis in the country since last year’s elections is fuelling demand for passports, an indication that more Zimbabweans might be preparing to seek refuge outside the country.

Lionel Saungweme, SW Radio Africa’s correspondent in Bulawayo said that since the beginning of the year, the Registrar General’s offices have been besieged with people applying for new passports and Emergency Travel Documents.

“Others are trying to renew their expired passports and it’s a struggle to get service at the registrar’s office because it’s always packed with people queuing for the same service,” he said.

An ordinary Zimbabwean passport costs US$50 while other regional countries charge less than US$30 for the same document. But faced with heavy demand, the Passport Office has assigned priority to those willing to pay US$253 dollars to obtain an emergency passport in three days, or even US$318 for one-day service.

“Even with the exorbitant charges people are flocking to the passport offices and the officials are failing to cope with the sheer numbers,” Saungweme added.

The correspondent said it appears the failing economy seems to be sending thousands packing to neighbouring countries. Although the economic and political situation had improved marginally during the period of the inclusive government, things have not been the same since ZANU PF ‘won’ the elections that were disputed by the opposition parties.

While analysts agree that few people are fleeing political repression, many others are contemplating escaping the affects of the failing economy and poor service delivery.

5 Responsesto “Economic downturn fuels passport demand”

  1. dumbu says:

    Remove this baboon Tobaiwa Mudede to ease the demand of passports. How many years did he serve as Register General in our country , what is the qualification for one to be a Register General and how many years is his term take to expire ?

    • Hungwe says:

      And to imagine that he’s already long past retirement age.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      It is incorrect to suggest that removing Tobaiwa Mudede will ease the demand for passport sekuru. Passports will still be in demand long after Mudede has gone on retirement. And this man is not about to go any time soon.

  2. clemence says:

    he cant just go , he is part of the rigging puzzle

  3. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    Well, those who think there is employment outside their own country will soon find out that home is best. The entire world is suffering the effect of the collapse of the major financial institutions. The United States and its allies in the western world have escaped the financial and economic squeeze which unfortunately is the order of the day. If the
    so-called world bank and IMF can not have funds to bailout the crippling debt of the United States and its major economic partners in the west, can Zimbabwe be any better? People should be realistic and stop dreaming.

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