According to Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, in addition to approving a hike in passport fees from $53 ZWL to $150 ZWL yesterday, the government has also approved the payment of passport fees in foreign currency.

This month that soon Zimbabweans with “free funds” (read those with USD) will soon be able to walk into their local Registrar’s Office and pay using foreign currency. One would presume that such a payment will receive preferential and expedited treatment.

Currently, that privilege is reserved for those in the Diaspora who can pay $318 and get a passport in 24 hours.

That has been approved by Cabinet and we are waiting for the Statutory Instrument to be in place. We have received requests from various people with free funds and we are waiting for the Statutory Instrument to be in place then we can allow them.

Minister Kazembe Kazembe speaking to State media

Hurtling towards dollarisation

Despite passing a law banning local foreign currency transaction in June last year the government has been consistently backsliding as it seeks to fill its coffers with foreign currency and end crippling shortages. This is just the latest example.

This week alone the government has approved payment of fuel and passports in foreign currency. This is despite the ridiculous and hollow claims by the RBZ’s governor, John Mangudya, saying that de-dollarisation is on track. Clearly the opposite is true.