A popular Zimbabwean news website has reported that the Registrar has halted e-passport production due to supply and payment issues. Another source with the Registrar General’s office also claimed that they had stopped producing passports due to some unspecified glitch. It is not clear why production has stopped but it does appear like the production of e-passports has stopped for the moment because the government has not come out to dispute this revelation.

The unnamed source is also said to have said that there was no paper and the contractors contracted to produce e-passports had not been paid. It is hard to verify whether they are telling the truth although it is true that the government uses contractors to produce e-passports. This is not the first time that the government has paused e-passport production. There was another pause a couple of months ago and this was also blamed on technical issues which seem to have been eventually resolved as production resumed.

A lot of Zimbabwe often panic whenever there is a halt in passport production because of past experiences. The government still has a huge passport backlog going back as far as 2019. People often had to wait for months or even years to get their passports. Getting a passport. Most are afraid that things can go back to those bad days. These days getting a passport is a relatively painless affair no different than say visiting your private doctor. The customer care you get is actually quite excellent.

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