The problem of the ever-increasing backlog for passport applications is set to be a thing of the past following government’s procurement of printing machinery.

After a tour of the Hwange Registrar’s offices, Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage, Ambassador Cain Mathema, revealed that the ministry had been facing an increasing backlog of passports applications dating back to July 2008.

This is said to have been caused mainly by the unavailability of foreign currency to procure the needed consumables, including the passport paper.

Ambassador Mathema revealed that his ministry had heeded the call by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that the matter had to be urgently addressed thus through partnership with Treasury had managed to acquire some machinery that will help ease the backlog.

He also revealed that within 4-5 weeks, 3 000 applications will be cleared, while in five months the backlog will be totally dealt with.

It was indicated that the decentralisation of registry offices was on-going with Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland South being targeted.