Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede on Tuesday asked for Parliament’s support to retain all proceeds from his Offices instead of remitting them to Treasury.
Mudede made the appeal before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence and Home Affairs which had asked him to justify why Treasury should continue to allow his Office to retain all its takings in the 2012 Budget to be announced in Parliament on Thursday.
“If the Ministry of Finance decides to ban 100% retention of funds collected at the Registrar-General’s Offices, that would be very catastrophic,” Mudede said.
“Central government has not provided an adequate budget and the purpose of the retention fund is to enable the department to carry out its mandate and retain the money for operational use,” he said.
Mudede said the department gets $1,9 million per month from fees charged for services, yet they need an estimated $3,5 million.
“We pay $400 000 to Fidelity Printers for passport books each year and we also have to service an $8 million debt to Fidelity Printers. We also need to buy passport printing machines because they are phased out regularly and new machines are required. These are not purchased locally and in 2014 all countries will be compelled to adopt e-passports,” Mudede argued.
He said most consumables at the passport office were imported, but some services, like the provision of diplomatic passports, were issued free of charge, burdening his office.
“We also buy blank certificates for death certificates and burial orders, as well as national identity documents and these are issued free of charge.
Other expenses that we incur include communication infrastructure, stationery, office furniture and payment of security personnel manning our offices in 10 provinces and 75 districts. We also have water bills, electricity bills and motor vehicle costs,” he said.
Mudede said his department was owed $3 million by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and $3, 7 million by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.