Zimbabwe’s government has ordered citizens to swap their passports for a new e-passport before the end of 2023 when the hard copy travel documents will become invalid.
The state-owned Herald newspaper is reporting that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was going to launch the e-passport later Tuesday.
A notice of statuary instrument 273 of 2021 says the e-passport will cost US$100 (R1 605). In addition, an application fee of US$20 (R320) will apply for applications processed at CBZ Bank.
The notice says the existing passports will cease to be accepted internationally at the end of December in 2023.
Observers suggest the cash-strapped Zimbabwe government was using the e-passport to raise money ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Those who can run away from Zimbabwe’s perennial economic chaos are doing so by the droves.
Zimbabwe has a backlog of about 200 000 passport applications.
Many other citizens simply jump borders into neighbouring countries.