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Zimbabweans stampede to get passports ahead of expected fee hike

HARARE – Hundreds of people have besieged passport offices at Makombe Building in Harare to try and secure the travel documents ahead of hiked fees announced in the 2024 national budget, which take effect beginning next month.

Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister, Prof Mthuli Ncube increased passport fees from US$120 to US$200 with effect from January.

“I always wanted to obtain a passport for my personal reasons and businesses but with the 2024 national budget announcement that has hiked the fees for passports, many have turned up and I’m worried this influx might make it difficult for me to get the document,” said Josephat who was in a queue that snaked from the entrance along Leopold Takawira into Herbert Chitepo Street, literally encircling the Makombe Building complex.

“After I heard that there will be a fees hike (for) passports, I decided to rush to get a passport before 1st of January and because I come from a far away, it will be difficult to imagine coming to pay US$200 for a passport especially when taking into consideration the bus fare and other costs associated with travelling, so I decided to come and pay for the passport now,” said Alice Mangena.

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Cross-border trading and migration to look for greener pastures is one of the major reasons Zimbabweans need passports.

Journalist and political commentator Hopewell Chin’ono said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime “wants to make money from the misery of Zimbabweans who are running away from ZANUPF’s failed policies and corrupt rule.”

Passport fees are to go up from US$120 to US$200 for ordinary passports and from US$200 to US$300 for emergency passports beginning next January 1. New Ziana

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