gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Zimbabwe to Launch Advanced Online Platform for Passport and ID Applications – The Zimbabwe Mail

Zimbabwe to Launch Advanced Online Platform for Passport and ID Applications

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Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabweans will soon have the convenience of applying for passports and national identity cards through an advanced online platform being developed by the Civil Registry Department (CRD). This initiative aims to streamline the process of accessing essential civic documents.

The online platform is expected to be operational before the end of the year. In the upcoming month, authorities will unveil the Zimbabwe Population Registry System (ZPRS), a central database for all citizens’ demographic information. This system will play a crucial role in facilitating the online application process for civic documents.

The ZPRS, which will store citizens’ details such as names, dates of birth, and places of residence, is currently undergoing final testing. It will integrate various government departments, including hospitals, to allow for instant birth and death registrations, thereby enhancing efficiency.

To support this digital migration, the CRD has already secured high-tech equipment, including servers, in preparation for the rollout.

In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe confirmed that the government is gearing up to launch the online passport application platform by the end of the year. “The online passport application is expected to be working before the end of 2024,” he said.

“The Zimbabwe Population Registry System is in the testing phase for some of the modules, and the system is expected to be implemented at the beginning of July 2024. The Electronic Document and Records Management System is in its development stage, and the expectation is that by the end of the year, it will be completed.”

The online passport application process will involve applicants visiting the official website or a designated online portal to create an account using their personal details. Applicants will fill out electronic forms with their information, upload scanned copies of required documents, and pay the application fee online. The platform will also offer a tracking system to monitor the application status and may allow for booking appointments for biometric data capture or document verification at designated passport offices. Depending on the system, applicants might be notified to collect their passports in person or have them delivered by mail upon approval.

Registrar-General Henry Machiri emphasized that the online application platform will streamline citizens’ access to civic documents. “We anticipate being ready by the fourth quarter, but there are outstanding issues to be resolved first,” he said. “When applying online, payment processing is also a crucial aspect that needs to be functional. The Government Internet Service Provider, a department under the Office of the President, is responsible for this aspect. We need to ensure that all stakeholders are prepared. Based on our consultations, we expect everything to be in place by the fourth quarter.”

This development follows the government’s completion of setting up an e-passport center in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of five being established in foreign countries. Training for embassy staff responsible for issuing the travel documents is nearly complete.

“Embassy officials are being trained on how to receive and process documents, and we are now ready to go and launch our e-passport,” said Machiri.

Following South Africa, the government plans to open additional e-passport offices in the United Kingdom and the United States. Domestically, 14 e-passport offices have been set up, with over 100,000 travel documents issued since the introduction of e-passports in January 2022. E-passports are currently processed at the Harare passport registry and provincial and district offices in Bulawayo, Gwanda, Gweru, Lupane, Marondera, Beitbridge, Chitungwiza, Hwange, Mazowe, Murewa, Zvishavane, Chinhoyi, and Guruve. This year, the CRD aims to establish e-passport offices in Gokwe South district and Mutare.