Zimbabwe ‘rejected’ SA passport machine offer?
As over 50 000 Zimbabweans joined last minute queues to regularise their stay in South Africa it has been revealed that South Africa actually offered Zimbabwe the use of its state-of-the-art passport printing press with a capacity to process 4 000 passports per hour ahead of the December 31 deadline.
In shocking bureaucracy it turns out Zimbabwe’s Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede is still ‘considering the merits of the offer’ before submitting ‘a report to the ministry for onward transmission to Cabinet for consideration before Government could accept or reject the offer.’
The passport machine offer was made during a meeting between Home Affairs co-Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone and their South African counterpart Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in South Africa early this month. Also present at the meeting was the incompetent Tobaiwa Mudede who two days before the December 21 deadline is still act on the offer.
A furious Makone told journalists “South Africa has said come and use our equipment that can produce 4 000 passports per hour. They said what we were only required to do was to bring our own technocrats, passport books and papers. We also insisted to the RG that we should take that offer for people to consider us seriously.”
Processing of passports applications came to a standstill at the Zimbabwe Consulate’s Beula Park two days before the 31 December deadline when nearly 50 000 Zimbabweans turned up. The security sealed off the entrance from early afternoon until the end of business hours as staff members threw their hands in the air conceding failure to deal with the high number of applicants.
Gates and the razor fences were pulled down as impatient Zimbabweans muscled their way into the Consulate offices, but only to realize that everything has virtually came to a stand-still. Nehanda Radio