There has recently been an uproar over the failure by the Government of Zimbabwe to deliver on passports. If you visit one of the passport processing centers in the country, you will bear witness to huge queues. The country has a massive backlog in terms of passport production. At current levels, it will probably take years for people to get their documents. That is a problem, not only for individuals, but also for the country as a whole. Zimbabwe has remained on its feet largely due to the remittances that are send back into the country from the Diaspora. So, instead of thinking of them as an expense, passports should actually be thought of as an investment. Whenever someone gets employed in South Africa, as an example, they send money to relatives back in Zimbabwe. Thus we get much needed foreign currency. So, how long does it take for a Zimbabwean passport to expire?
How long does it take for a Zimbabwean passport to expire?
From the date of issue, Zimbabwean passports expire after 10 years. So, if you get your passport on 1 January 2020, it will expire on 1 January 2030.
Extending the lifespan for unused passports
Most of the passports that are issued end up expiring without ever being used. In fact, the Ministry of Home affairs recently released information to the effect that there are over 10 thousand uncollected passports at the passports office. It’s a wonder that after going through the hassle, some people never bother to collect their documents. Perhaps they die before doing so? Or they give up and simply cross the border into South Africa illegally? I don’t know.
There have, in any case, been calls for unexpired passports to have their duration extended beyond the mandated 10 years. However, according to the government of Zimbabwe, it would be illegal and a breach of international standards to do so. So, people will have to continue waiting in long queues in the meanwhile.