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 2009-09-10 04:30 pm Back to NEWS
Government extends issuance of passports for Zambians abroad

THE government has extended the issuance of passports for Zambians in the Diaspora from August, 31 2009 to December, 31, 2009.

Home affairs minister Lameck Mangani announced in a statement yesterday that the ministry had taken note of the challenges in the issuance of the passports particularly among Zambians in the diaspora.

Mangani stated that this problem had also been brought to the attention of President Rupiah Banda in the course of his international duties.

He stated that the main problem had been the long process from the time an application was filled in at the Zambian mission abroad to the time it actually reached passport office.

"Despite the long process, however, most forms are submitted with major errors making it virtually impossible for passport office to issue passports accordingly. In view of this, government has decided to further extend the issuance of these new passports from August 31, 2009 to December, 31, 2009. Thereafter, the usage of the old passport will not be acceptable," he stated "Further, my ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has found it necessary for passport officers to undertake clinics in the most affected countries so that the issue is addressed expeditiously. The missions to be considered include London, Washington, New York, Moscow, Beijing, Pretoria, Gaborone, Harare and Maputo. All old applicants whose forms have not been received by passport office and new applicants would be required to make submissions accordingly so that there are no errors and the applications would then be processed."

Mangani stated that it was in his considered view that once officers were sent for this assignment, many Zambians abroad would be given chance in the renewal of their passports.

Meanwhile, Mangani stated that the passport office had so far issued a total of 110,000 new passports.

He stated that the original target figure was 450,000 old passports to be replaced but because of several new applications, the new target figure was one million passport holders.

"Although with inadequate staff, our office produces between 800 to 1,000 passports per day. We shall do everything possible to smoothen the operations of the passports offices," stated Mangani.

 
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