By Staff Reporter
Addressing Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and Defence and Home Affairs, Minister Kazembe Kazembe said on the issue of National identity Documents, his Ministry is faced with a challenge in the issuance of polythene-synthetic identity documents.
“This has resulted from shortage of consumables and non-payment of licences and dongles which require foreign currency,” Kazembe said.
“Some registry offices have since stopped issuance of polythene-synthetic IDs and have resorted to issuance of Green Copy Waiting Pass.”
“To address the situation, my Ministry is planning to conduct a national mobile registration exercise once all logistics are in place.
“My Ministry through the Civil Registry Department is limiting the number of applicants for polythene-synthetic IDs and priority is being given to high school students and urgent cases.”
“Treasury has however, committed to facilitate payment for consumables, licences and dongles in order to address the situation as soon as possible.”
Coming to Passports production, his Ministry is currently experiencing a backlog in the processing of passports.
“Currently we have a backlog of 225 747, dating back to March 2019,” he said.
“The backlog has been accumulating due to shortage of consumables which require foreign currency.
To address the situation, my Ministry has put in place the following measures, introduction of Double Shift Working Programme with effect from 26 April 2021.
“The programme consists of the day and night shift. The night shift operates from 2000hrs to 0400hrs whilst the day shift operates from 0800hrs to 1600hrs.
“The two shifts will be working five (5) days a week excluding weekends.”
The strategy is aimed at clearing the passport backlog.
“With the introduction of the double shift working programme, My Ministry will be in a position to produce between 4 000 and 4 500 passports a day,” Kazembe said.
“The expected daily output for the day shift will be between 2 000 and 2 500 whilst the expected output for the night shift will be 2 000.
Treasury also made a commitment to avail funds for the procurement of additional equipment to complement the existing machinery.
Procurement of additional equipment and consumables will increase the production capacity from 4 500 to 9 000 thereby reducing the turn-around time for the clearance of the backlog.
“These measures will see the Ministry being able to meet the current demand for passports while ensuring that the backlog does not occur.”