Government has assured the nation that the production and processing of passports is set to increase following the availability of machinery and printing paper.

This was said by the Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Ambassador Cain Mathema during a tour of the passport production department today.

Queues have become a norm in Zimbabwe, and queuing for passports has now become the order of the day for anyone hoping to obtain the travel document.

The Registrar General’s office has been battling an acute shortage of machinery, special paper and ink used to make passports, resulting in a huge backlog for travel documents.

“As government we have made the following payments to our debtors on 20 June 2019, we paid US$1 million, on the 26th of June 2019 we paid US$1 million and on the 24th of July this year we paid up another US $1 million we have reduced our indebtedness to US$4 million,” said Minister of Home affairs and Cultural Heritage, Ambassador Cain Mathema.

He said this after a tour of the Registrar Generals passport production plant in Harare today (Friday).

“As more material comes, the department will be able to increase passport production and issuance, we will soon be producing 3 000 passports per day towards our targeted 8 000 passports a day which is equal to our production capacity. As of today, we are upping our figure from 60 passports to 1 000 per day, within the next three to 6 weeks passport production should be back to normal” said Ambassador Mathema.

He added that the department has a serious backlog and was only issuing 60 passports a day due to unavailability of foreign currency will now be producing more documents.