The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage says the Registrar-General’s office will not renew expired passports that still have blank pages as it was against the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations.
This follows complaints over the delays in passport processing with the Registrar-General’s office passport backlog now surpassing 370 000.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema told Sunday News in an interview that the Government will not consider renewing expired passports.
“All passports in the world belong to IATA, no passport belongs to any country, we work according to the rules and laws of that organisation. So, if you have a passport that was not used and has expired, in any case why would one have a passport that they are not using, you cannot use it again. You apply for a new one,” he said.
Minister Mathema said Zimbabwe is part of the international community and passports are part of the international community where rules are standard.
“People who do not use their passports until they have expired are simply showing us that they do not need the passports. You cannot apply for a passport and not use it for years and it expires and you expect my office to grant you the permission to use an expired passport because it still has a lot of blank pages, it does not work. If a passport has expired that’s it, it does not matter how many blank pages it has, it will not work and that is the rule in countries all over the world. We cannot change the international laws because we have a challenge in Zimbabwe of passports.”