ZIMBABWE will resume issuing passports and other identity documents next Monday after a New Year’s Eve fire halted production.
Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede said investigations had shown that the fire was a result of an electrical fault, adding that it had destroyed power cables but the database remained unaffected.
Mudede said on Thursday: “We have started issuing Emergency Travel Documents to the public and if there are some who want them, we are able to give them right now.
“I would like to inform the public that provincial passport offices will be fully operational from Monday, January 10, at 7.45AM.”
Thousands of Zimbabweans, many of them working in neighbouring countries, were growingly frustrated at being unable to renew their passports or get new ones since New Year.
Also growingly impatient were an estimated 50,000 Zimbabweans based in neighbouring South Africa who applied for new passports, taking advantage of that country’s offer of work permits for documented Zimbabweans.
Mudede said: “What I can assure the public is that workers are on the ground checking the system so that it is geared for the resumption of production.
“Our database is intact and we still have our information. Our printers, computers and scanners that we use to produce passports are still intact.
“The fire only burnt the cables, thereby cutting off electricity supply to the production centre.”
The production centre is located at the KGVI military base in Harare.