- Southern Africa
Passport fees 305% up as a quarter of Zimbabweans flee
Zimbabweans will now fork out US$670 for an adult passport up from US$220, the country’s Registrar General has said.
Announcing the shocking 305 per cent increase in adult passport fees that is set to affect millions of prospective travellers across the country, the Registrar General’s office cited escalating costs in sourcing the paper to produce the travel document.
Before the latest increase, children were paying only US$120 but will now be required to pay US$607.
Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede was not immediately available for comments but officials at his office said the latest review in fees was with immediate effect.
"If an adult loses his his/her passport one would be asked to pay US$400 to get a new passport," said an official at Mudede’s office.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans are currently outside the country after fleeing home because of political violence and worsening economic hardships.
Hundreds of thousands more Zimbabweans travel to neighbouring countries especially more prosperous South Africa and Botswana in search of food and other basic commodities in critical short supply in their own country.
A deadly outbreak of cholera that the United Nations says has killed close to 800 people has driven hundreds of sick Zimbabweans to neighbouring countries where hospitals are better.
South Africa which has received most of the cholera victims yesterday declared its border region with Zimbabwe a disaster zone because of the increase in cholera cases as Zimbabweans flee in search of treatment.
Zimbabwe is in the grip of an unprecedented economic crisis that is highlighted by the world’s highest inflation of 231 million percent, acute shortages of food, fuel, electricity, hard cash and every basic survival commodity.