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Government Revises Passport Fees Following Public Outcry

Government Revises Passport Fees Following Public Outcry

In response to widespread public opposition, the Zimbabwean government has yielded to pressure and adjusted the proposed passport fees outlined in its 2024 budget proposal.

Originally set at US$200, the fee for obtaining an ordinary passport has now been reduced to US$150, as announced in a recent Government Gazette.

Last year, Finance Minister Ncube presented the National Budget, proposing a significant increase in the fee for an ordinary passport from US$120 to US$200. However, due to extensive public protests, the government decided to revise the fee down to US$150.

The revised passport fees were detailed in a Government Gazette issued this week, stating that emergency passports will now cost US$250. The Gazette quoted the Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister, citing the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act [Chapter 4:01] as the basis for the regulations.

The official statement in the Gazette read, “The fees payable for obtaining one passport shall be: (a) ordinary passport … USD150. (b) emergency passport … USD250. (c) the following additional fee shall be charged for every electronically readable passport application to obtain a quick response (QR) code … USD20.”

Passports have been in high demand, driven by a desire among many Zimbabweans to seek better opportunities abroad. The latest data from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency reveals a national unemployment rate of 47.8%, with more pronounced unemployment among females at 23.7% compared to males at 19%.

This adjustment in passport fees comes amid a backdrop where a significant number of Zimbabweans, not formally employed, rely on traveling to South Africa to purchase goods for resale due to their unavailability or high costs in Zimbabwe. The revised fees aim to strike a balance between government revenue and public affordability, addressing concerns raised by citizens grappling with economic challenges.

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