Zimbabwe: Biti Vows to Challenge Govt Move to Phase Out Old Passports in 2023

16 December 2021

Opposition MDC Alliance vice president Tendai Biti has hinted at challenging the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021 which set the new passport fees while also declaring the expiry dates for the current documents to pave way for newly introduced e-passports.

According to Biti, the Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe acted outside the law when he gazetted SI 273 of 2021 which gives holders of old passports two years to apply for e-passports.

"SI 273 of 2021 is blatantly unconstitutional. Kazembe Kazembe has acted outside powers provided to him by the Citizens Act Cap 4:01. That SI needs to be challenged in court . Enough of these roving bandits.Enough of a vacuous government driven by greed avarice & aggrandizement," said Biti while posting on Twitter.

He also condemned the government move to decree that all passports will expire on a certain date saying this will be humongous multi billion dollar business for President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his cronies.

"It's unprecedented that a regime can decree that all passports will expire on a certain date. The processing of new passports will be a humongous multi billion dollar business .It will also a logistical nightmare .This regime has no boundary,no morality , no limitations,no shame," added Biti.

He further bemoaned the fact that business tycoon, Kudakwashe Tagwirei who is believed to hold controlling shares in CBZ bank got government to be the financial services provider used to pay for passport application.

Biti said Tagwirei had now gained control of the country as his interests now covers almost all economic sectors including fuel, foreign currency, gold production, construction and command agriculture among others.

"Kuda Tagwireyi s greed is unprecedented so too that of person fronting him.He now controls fuel,fx,gold mines, platinum,the RBZ, Banks,pipe lines ,Road construction ,command agriculture , NOCZIM and Min of Finance. He controls Zimbabwe," said Biti.

The government of Zimbabwe has engaged a Lithunian company to produce e-passports at a cost of US$120 for ordinary applications while express or emergency applicants forking out US$220.

The latest move to introduce e-passports is in line with global trends and part of an international order for countries to adopt biometric documents with improved security for ease movement of people.

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