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Govt Commissions Rutenga Passport Office

Govt Commissions Rutenga Passport Office

The Mwenezi District’s passport office officially opened its doors on Monday, February 19th at Rutenga Growth Point, with applicants already flocking to the area. The office is housed at the district’s Rutenga registrar offices, and one has to part with $170 to obtain the precious document, which will be ready for collection on the seventh working day following the processing day.

A visit by News team on Thursday witnessed some applicants processing their papers, with officials confirming that despite some minor glitches experienced on the opening day, operations were currently in full swing. One official from the district office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that they received 19 applicants on the first day. However, due to network challenges, they managed to process only three but assured that operations were back in order.

“On the opening day, we received a total of 19 applicants, but we only managed to complete three. The delay was necessitated by network glitches, and as a result, we processed all the applicants’ papers, including fresh ones, on Thursday. Right now, everything is in order, and applicants can swiftly process their papers without any hassle,” said the source.

In an interview, Mwenezi District Development Coordinator (DCC) Isaac Mutambara expressed extreme gratitude over the development, stating that the people of Mwenezi district were certainly going to reap several benefits.

“We are really on cloud nine over the development, and we are very proud as Mwenezi. Our sons and daughters used to illegally travel to South Africa, with some being robbed and raped at various illegal crossing points, as access to passport offices was cumbersome.

“But this is going to be a thing of the past as the service is now at our doorstep. The coming in of the passport office is a great blessing to the entire people of Mwenezi, who used to travel as far as Harare, Bulawayo, and Beitbridge to acquire the document, which forced many to shun the process, forcing them to engage in illegal activities whenever they wanted to visit neighboring South Africa,” said Mutambara.

Mwenezi North MP Master Makope echoed the same sentiments and said they were happy as Mwenezi people, saying that as a district, several people cross into South Africa due to its proximity but often use dangerous routes because they do not have documents. Now that they can access the service close to home, they can cross legally.

“We are very grateful as a district that an E-passport office has been established just a doorstep from our people. Many people in Mwenezi are very happy because they rely on services across Limpopo.

“Now that they have easy access to passports, that will reduce the number of our youth who usually go to South Africa using dangerous and unauthorized routes, where they meet robbers and rapists. As a district, we are going to see a decline in such incidents, and we are going to see an increase in our district’s GDP,” said Makope.

Mwenezi District’s Chief Chitanga, born Feleni Chauke, applauded the development, saying it will ease transport and other travel hassles to go to Zvishavane or Harare to apply for a passport.

“We are happy that as a district, we have our own passport office. Our people used to part with a lot of money to travel to Harare to apply for passports, but now they can do that with less traveling costs, so we are happy with that development,” said Chitanga.

Rutenga, linked through the country’s major Masvingo-Beitbridge highway and a railway line, the coming in of a passport office in the populous growth point is set to invigorate the district’s epicenter, which is eyeing a town status.

The office is the first in the province since the introduction of the E-Passport, and people in the province had to go either to Harare or Zvishavane. The Masvingo Provincial office is currently processing birth certificates and the collection of passports that were applied for before the introduction of the e-passport.



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