Subscribe to Newsletter

The country that’s run out of passports

Official says are passports are only being issued in ‘emergencies’

If you’ve ever complained about how laborious getting a passport is, count your lucky stars you’re not a citizen of Zimbabwe. 



Passports have joined a long list of items that are becoming increasingly scarcer in the African nation, along with cash, fuel, and other basic needs like electricity. 


According to Bloomberg, Zimbabwean Tendai Mpofu applied for new passports for his sons more than two months ago, but is still waiting to receive the documents, which he hopes will come in time their upcoming trip to South Africa for a school sports event. 


So why the wait? President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pointed the finger at the company responsible for issuing the passports, saying the firm won’t print any more documents until the government has cleared its debts, while others report that the country is simply to broke to afford even the paper and ink on which the passports are printed. 


Whatever the reason, the situation is “dire”, says a passport office official, who claims passports are now only being issued for emergencies. 


However, Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema told the country’s Herald newspaper that the government was “working on it” and things were looking up.  


Zimbabwe is currently going through its worst economic crisis in over ten years, with inflation at almost 100% and foreign currency reserves severely low, Bloomberg reports. 


Have you travelled to Zimbabwe? What are your thoughts on the country as a tourist destination?  


Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk Click here to read the latest issue of traveltalk
Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 2 July 2019

comments powered by Disqus