The Registrar general’s office is facing challenges of clearing a backlog of 386 000 passports by year-end due to shortages of foreign currency and essential supplies.
The government will miss its target as a result of recent delays in shipping materials and foreign currency as the country is currently in the grip of a huge economic crisis which has triggered shortages of foreign currency, power, and medicines at state hospitals.
Registrar-General Clemence Masango, however, was optimistic that his department would have cleared the backlog by the end of the first quarter of 2020 — barring a degeneration of the current situation — which he said had improved from the August position where his office was only processing 60 passports a day against a target of 3 000 passports.
Normally, passport applications should be processed within three months, but since 2016 the Registrar-General’s office had been struggling to import essential supplies such as paper due to lack of foreign currency.
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