HOME Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe has urged officials at the Passport Office to desist from collecting US$ payments from locals highlighting that the facility was opened up to cater for Zimbabweans in the diaspora.
Speaking to the media just after a Passport Production Office tour Wednesday, Kazembe said it is illegal to charge locals in foreign currency.
“The facility was just created to cater for Zimbabweans living in the diaspora and charging locals in foreign currency in illegal in this country,” he said.
He expressed dismay over the huge passport backlog which he said is estimated to be around 350 000 dating back to as far as 2018.
Kazembe said in order to clear the backlog production needs to be increased from the current 2 000 to 10 000 passports per day.
The remarks come at a time when member of the public have filed reports alleging rampant corruption by officials at the Passport Office who demand various amounts of money to fast track the processes.
Other applicants who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity have alleged that if they pay in US$, the receipts are generated in local currency.
However, Kazembe vowed that he will not tolerate such rot to continue hinting appropriate action will be taken.
“I have been inundated with calls alleging corrupt tendencies in the Passport Office. Let me reiterate once again that corruption in all its forms will not be tolerated and anyone caught offside will be dismissed forthwith,” he said.