The Registrar-General’s offices in Zimbabwe have been issuing e-passports for a couple of months and by all accounts, the process is now running smoothly. All you need to do is to go to Harare or Bulawayo, submit your application, pay US$120 or US$220 and get your passport within a week or a day respectively. The problem is you still have to be in Harare or Bulawayo for this to happen. There is a sizeable number of Zimbabweans who live abroad with South Africa and the U.K leading in terms of the number of Zimbabweans that live in the diaspora. Unfortunately, it seems even these embassies cannot yet process e-passport applications.

Naturally with such a gap in the market scammers have started to publish advertisements on various social media platforms claiming to be somehow affiliated with the Registrar-General’s offices. They lure people by saying they can process people’s applications without them having to leave South Africa and come to Zimbabwe. Well, this is not true and as already pointed out these are scammers who are after your hard-earned money.

It has come to our attention that there is a document, dated 25 April 2022, bearing our letterhead and stamp inviting members of the public to apply for virtual consular services and the assistance in applying for 24 hours express urgent electronic/biometric passports.

The public is hereby advised that the ‘public notice’ is fake and should be disregarded with the contempt it deserves.

It is certainly the work of scammers and fraudsters who always seek to use the good name of the Consulate to swindle nationals’ hard-earned cash.

As noted in our public notice on 8 February 2022, currently the new e-passport can only be applied for in-person at the Passport office in Bulawayo and Harare.

The statement from the Registrar-General’s office

It is not clear what the hold up is. No one needs passports more than the people in the diaspora. In these days of xenophobic attacks, these are the people that need passports more than ever because sometimes their lives literary depend on them having a passport. Hopefully South African and UK embassies will have e-passport facilities soon.