Registrar-General (RG) Tobaiwa Mudede says he is such a hard worker he reports for duty as early as 6am and leaves his offices at 7pm almost daily.
Mudede told a visiting Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs and Defence at his Makombe Building office in Harare on Monday his officers were also hardworking and always put an extra “hour or two” daily.
The RG said the hard work he and his officers had put in was being recognised in the region and globally as evidenced by Zimbabwe chairing the region on visa registration while the Zimbabwean passport was world compliant and an envy of many developed countries.
“It is my policy that by 6 or 6:30am I’m here. Sometimes if you phone at 7pm you will find me here. We work very hard,” he said.
“Our passport is also world compliant and not just regional compliant. Facts speak for themselves and other countries in Africa have adopted our systems. All our (passport) security features are approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Interpol and it is these organisations that have said we are world compliant.
“Since we launched this machine-readable passport (1998) you are carrying, it has not been forged. Those that have forged it have been arrested. What is in the passport at the moment does not compare even to developed countries. The passport is tight. Some big nations — I don’t want to mention names — have not reached our standard. Some big nations have called me – I will not mention them – for meetings but I have said no,” Mudede said.
The RG also told the committee production of national identity documents and passports was increasing rapidly, largely due to the fact that his office had been allowed to retain the income it generated.
Despite all these claims of success by the RG, the public have persistently complained about inefficiency, corruption and long queues at passport offices while civic society groups and opposition political parties have accused Mudede’s office of incompetence especially with regards to the voters’ roll and voter registration process.