By Nomalanga Makwelo
Government says that it is going to address the issue of the backlog in the provision of primary identity documents ,which have been witnessed throughout the country.
Appearing before the ministry ‘s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Kazembe Kazembe said that government was aware of the difficulties people were facing in getting their passports and national IDs as many had to spend days queuing and was going to work hard in order to ensure a decrease in the backlog.
“ We are introducing a Double Shift Working Programme . The two shifts will be working five days a week excluding weekends. The strategy is aimed at clearing the passport backlog. ”
The minister also said that it was also try to lease with Treasury over the issue to procure resources which would see the ministry producing at least 16 000 passports per day.
“Procurement of additional equipment and consumables will increase the production capacity from 4 500 to 9 000 thereby reducing the turn-around time for the clearance of the backlog. These measures will see the Ministry being able to meet the current demand for passports while ensuring that the backlog does not occur,” said Minister Kazembe.
Also addressing the wide spread issue of bribes occurring at registry offices which has seen people being required to bribe government officials so as to be served fast ,he indicated that government would clamp down on such corrupt individuals.
Minister Kazembe ‘s remarks before the Committee came after his impromptu visit in the Capital City’s registrar office where he witnessed first hand corruption after a government employee who did not know who he was asked for a bribe from him to speed up the process of getting his documents.