Zimbabwe will open seven new centres to issue e-passports by the end of next month bringing the total to 14 as passports, birth certificates and other travel documents and identity documents are rights and benefits which have to be enjoyed by all citizens.
Writing in his weekly column in the Sunday Mail, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said seven centres were already operating at Murewa, Harare, Hwange, Beitbridge, Bulawayo, Lupane and Gweru.
“By the end of September this year, we expect the number of such service centres to rise to 14, with the momentum being maintained until all the districts are covered.
“Extending such services to Zimbabwe’s key embassies and consulates in countries where large communities of Zimbabweans living abroad are found. Already, work has started in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, so the large community of Zimbabwean emigres living there will be served.
“Plans are underway to launch similar outreach services in Lusaka, Zambia, in London, United Kingdom, in Washington and New York in USA, in Australia and in the Middle East. Such facilities will respond to needs ardently expressed by Zimbabweans living abroad whom I had the pleasure to meet and interact with during my various fixtures abroad,” he said.
Chapter 14 of our Constitution provides for devolution of governmental power in the interest of citizen participation and social justice. The Chapter puts an end to the bambazonke philosophy by which everything was centralised in favour of metropolitan provinces, cities and towns at the expense of historically marginalised rural provinces, districts, wards and villages. Now the Constitution requires that development and decisions be participatory, spatially even and balanced, thus ensuring no person, no place and no community is left behind. The Second Republic declared and announced its commitment to this ethic and constitutional stricture way back in Gwanda, Matabeleland South, just before our 2018 harmonised elections. Since then, the Second Republic has made devolution its watchword in the management of the Nation’s public affairs. The results are there for all to see.
Chapter 3 of the same Constitution declares that passports, birth certificates and other travel documents and identity documents are rights and benefits which have to be enjoyed by all citizens. While this has always been the persuasion from Independence, not much ground was covered towards this goal under the First Republic. This in part prompted our Constitution-makers to write these rights and benefits into the supreme law of the country. The Second Republic has now made it its bounden duty to ensure the gap is plugged once and for all, so all our citizens are fully and equitably served.
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