Desperate emergency passport seekers have taken to camping at the Registrar-General’s Office in Marondera, but officials are only processing 10 applications per day.
A visit to the passport office in Marondera yesterday morning revealed a group of desperate passport seekers gathered outside the government complex.
They have mobilised firewood for a fire to keep themselves warm, while others have turned the complex fence into a washing line, a sign that they have spent days at the offices.
Some of the women with babies strapped to their backs said they had been at the premises since Sunday, despite the chilling weather often associated with Marondera.
The passport seekers showed NewsDay a book they are writing names according to the day a person arrives to queue for the travel document.
“I have been here since Sunday and only got served today. They are just attending to 10 people per day for those in need of emergency passports. However, those who are applying for ordinary passports are being attended to without hassles, but the collection date is being pushed to close to a year. We have this book, which people are writing their names to avoid chaos,” said an elderly woman, who declined to be named.
Some of the women outside the government building said they would wait until tomorrow for their turn. Chaos often characterised the queues.
“According to this book, I am on number 25, I failed to make it today and I have to wait until tomorrow for my turn. Some people are coming early in the morning to create chaos. Some of us have been here for a day or so. Last night (yesterday) the police had to arrest a man who was causing chaos, as he disregarded the system of writing names in this book,” she said.
Those applying for the emergency passports are vetted first.
Efforts to get a comment from officials at the Registrar’s Office were fruitless.