Government has promised to deliver two million identity documents to undocumented citizens by the end of September as the country gears up for the 2023 elections.
This was revealed last week by Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe during a meeting with national commissioner of the South African Police Service and chairperson of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operation Organisation (SARPCCO) Khehla John Sitole in Harare.
Kazembe’s revelations came at a time when the government has admitted that it was facing a shortage of consumables to produce identity documents.
As a result, the government only gave priority to schoolchildren and urgent cases.
In other parts of the country, the Registrar-General (RG)’s Office stopped issuing plastic identity documents (IDs) due to lack of consumables and resorted to issuing green waiting passes.
“We are going to start mobile registration to take care of the others because I am aware you can’t get a passport without these other documents. There is a backlog, but we have a programme that is starting on April 1 where we intend to give more than two million people identity cards, birth certificates and passports.
“The programme will run for three months until the end of September and we will try our level best to ensure that no one is left behind.”
Kazembe said the government was also happy with the progress made in issuing the e-passports.
“We launched the e-passport recently and from what we are getting from the public, the e-passport service is working very well regardless of the fact that we only have one issuing centre at the moment. Those that have been there will tell you that the services have improved and people are now able to apply for their passports in one day and go back home.
“In our view, this intervention worked and our intention is to spread these centres to other areas so that we don’t congest Harare. As we speak our partner has already started work in Bulawayo to renovate the premises and then they will go to other provinces,” he said.