US$ prices must come with US$ salaries: MDC Alliance



THE main opposition MDC Alliance has blasted government for its decision to price passport fees in United States dollars at a time when workers in the country earn measly amounts in local currency.

MDC Alliance secretary for home affairs, Rittah Ndlovu, in a statement yesterday, said the new passport fees of US$60 for an ordinary passport, US$200 for a three-day passport and US$318 for a 24-hour passport, which were announced last week were unreasonable.

The passport fee increases were announced by government at a time when civil servants had declared that they would only report for work two days per week due to incapacitation.

They are demanding between US$520 and US$550 which they used to get in 2018, or its equivalent in local currency.

The opposition has also been calling for the dollarisation of the economy as most goods and services are pegged in US dollars.

“The new fees are unaffordable for the common person whose wages are in Zimbabwean dollars and have been eroded by inflation and contradictory, unsound monetary policies by the Zimbabwean regime,” Ndlovu’s statement read .

“The pegging of the fees in United States dollars constitutes an admission that the Zimbabwe dollar has collapsed despite attempts by Treasury to contend that the local dollar is the only viable currency in the country,” she said.

The MDC Alliance described the passport fee increases as an infringement of citizens’ right to freedom of movement enshrined in section 66(1)(c) of the Constitution,which entitles every citizen the right to passport and other travel documents as most citizens cannot afford the new fees.

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