Government has confirmed that the production of passports is improving and now stands at 800 passports per day from the previous 60, boosting chances of clearing a backlog that stands at 300 000.

Briefing the media after today’s cabinet, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said the improved production of the documents follow the procurement of new printing equipment and consumables.

“Cabinet received a progress report by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage on the resolution of the challenges currently affecting the production of passports in the country.  The Minister advised Cabinet that the new equipment and consumables required to upscale the production of passports had now been procured.  Following this development, the Registrar General’s Office now has the capacity to produce 800 passports per day, up from the 60 passports, which had of late become the daily maximum output.  The government will continue to mobilise further resources in order to ensure that the daily maximum production of passports is raised to 8 000,” she said.

Cabinet further considered and approved the National Biofuels Policy which will guide the bio fuels sector during the period 2018 to 2030 in promoting the implementation of viable bio-fuels projects in the country.

“The policy’s specific focus will be on ethanol production from sugar cane and biodiesel from jatropha, while exploring the possibility if other feed stocks such as cassava and sweet sorghum for biodiesel production. More specifically, the policy seeks inter-alia, to improve the long-term growth, viability and sustainability of the biofuels sector, to safeguard biofuel product quality and standards, to improve productivity and economic viability of biofuel feedstock production……The policy, if implemented, will also greatly help the country to save foreign currency through import substitution,” added Minister Mutsvangwa.

The Minister also spoke on the proposed protests by the opposition MDC, describing them as counter-productive.

“In the light of planned demonstrations by the opposition MDC, cabinet implores all Zimbabweans to completely reject the culture of violence and intimidation which is counter-productive and inimical to the full enjoyment of freedom by peace-loving Zimbabweans, as enshrined in the country’s Constitution.  The government calls on all progressive Zimbabweans to desist from being used by negative forces to destabilise their own country, as this will only prolong the hardships which the government is tirelessly working to address in a more sustainable manner,” she said.

Cabinet also discussed the power situation which has significantly improved following the importation of 400mw from South African firm, ESKOM.