Zimbabwe Migration | Dozens invade passport offices as the economy bites

HARARE – As the festive season draws to a close, hundreds of Zimbabweans have besieged the Registrar General's office in the capital Harare and other branches across the country in an attempt to apply for new passports or renew other travel documents.

Read: Zimbabwe Cholera Outbreak | SA intensifies screening at borders

More than four million Zimbabweans are believed to be working and living outside the country, particularly in countries such as South Africa, Botswana and the UK.

Zimbabwe raised its passport application fee from US$120 to U$170 on January 1. That means it now costs about R3,177 to apply for a new passport.

Despite the hike, dozens of Zimbabweans throng passport offices in search of travel documents.

Long winding queues were seen at the Registrar General's offices in the capital Harare, and some pointed out that the queues were shorter now than in previous weeks.

Some say the officials at the passport office were efficient.

They encourage other travelers to get passports so they don't face problems at the borders.

But some are disappointed by the long queues.

A political analyst says Zimbabwe's economic instability is driving people out of the country.

„The people in Botswana who are invading South Africa are not doing it because they want to. It's because they have no choice. Now it's more convenient to survive and the politically connected people are thriving. And benefiting.”

By 2023, Zimbabwe has also seen a massive migration of young people to Britain to take up jobs in the health care sector.

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