By Chengeto Chidi
ZIMBABWEAN government will be issuing national Identity Documents and birth certificates to its nationals in selected foreign countries the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Cain Mathema has said.
Speaking at a press conference in Harare Mathema said his ministry working with the ministry of finance will embark on an outreach program to provide registration documents
“On a related matter my ministry has agreed that an outreach program by the Central Registry Department should be embarked upon in the near future to provide vital registration documents for example birth certificates and national identity documents to selected countries were our nationals are living in the diaspora,” he said.
He said the initiative also serves to assist nationals residing in the diaspora to apply for passports for processing in Harare.
Mathema said his ministry and the Ministry of Finance will allow Zimbabweans in the diaspora to pay fees for these documents
“It will be possible for people in the diaspora to pay the fees for these documents the equivalent of the approved fees in currencies of their host countries,” Mathema said.
He said the ministry should regularise the movement of the diplomatic bag to allow people in the diaspora to apply and pay for passports at the embassies nearest to them.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will then submit the applications through their Head Office to the external section of the passport office under the Central Registry Department, “he said,
“The passport office will then expeditiously process the applications within a period of approximately ten working days and send them back to the diaspora through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.”
Government is in a fix as it is failing to deal with a huge backlog for passport applications owing to a shortage of foreign currency which has thrown the passport markers into debt.
“The ministry of finance and economic development on a monthly basis has allocated resources to retire the outstanding debt in relation to technical expertise and suppliers of consumables and paper.
Mathema is not sure when the problem will be resolved but said he hoped 2020 would bring better tidings.
“We hope that by the second quarter of year 2020 significant progress should have been made to resolve this matter, “Mathema said.