By ETimes

Zimbabwe has gazetted fees for the new e-passports, as President Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the biometric passports today in the capital. This comes as the government tries to walk the talk on digitising the economy. 

An e-passport is also known as a digital or biometric passport. Due to security concerns, migration to e-passport from machine-readable passports started in 2005 and finally the first e-passport was issued in 2010. As of now, more than 120 countries have issued e-passports.

The southern African launch of the e-passport will mark the migration from the traditional passport.

Under the Citizens (Passport Fees) Regulations 2021, the government will cease the issuance of the current type of passports and in place thereof will be issuing e-passports.

“The current type of passports, issued before the date of operation of these regulations, will cease to be acceptable internationally by 31st December 2023 and will therefore need to be replaced by e-passports in terms of these regulations,” reads the government gazette.

The ordinary e-passport is pegged at US$100 while the emergency e-passport will see one forking US$200. Experts say this will be expensive for many considering that many are buying US dollars on the black market where there is a premium.

“A normal fee of US$20 shall be charged for every passport application fee processed at any CBZ Bank Branch countrywide.”

The e-passport is poised to quicken immigration processes at border posts and airports.

According to the Home Affairs Ministry the e-passport will protect the privacy of citizens given the embedded features which protect against identity theft and counterfeiting of travel documents.

The government partnership with Garsu Pasaulis to produce e-passports. “The new system will enable a production of 30 000 passports per day starting next year,” said Nick Mangwana, secretary for information in a tweet. “The partnership will also produce National IDs, Birth Certificates and other security documents.”

However, some people are of the view that this can be copied also ku driver’s licence at VID since it is grappling with material shortages in the making of licences – Harare

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