Fidelity Printers has resumed the printing of passports in a bid to clear backlog while contract negotiations with Nikuv are still underway, Zim Morning Post has learnt.
This publication understands that Nikuv had a backlog of 350 000 passports which is set to cleared by Fidelity Printers while transfer of the running contract is still being negotiated by the two companies.
The stumbling block for Fidelity to take over the contract is that Nikuv still has a running contract but government has not allocated foreign currency resources to print passports.
Reports coming to us state that the contract which was given to NIKUV is an open contract and the only way for NIKUV to release is to negotiate well with the company.
“Government has to sweet talk NIKUV so that the tender may be released because as it stands Nikuv has the monopoly,” said our source.
Last week in parliament, Norton Legislator, Temba Mliswa asked Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema on why there is a shortage of passports if they are printed in this country.
“This is a very important issue. Why is there a shortage of passports if they are printed in this country?”
“Why are there such long queues where people are waking up midnight to queue up? Is this government policy, allowing people to queue up early in the morning but without getting any passports?”
Mathema acknowledged that there is a shortage but the printing would start in three weeks.
“The passport is a security document. So after its expiry, one has to apply for a new one. Passports will be printed in the next three weeks,” Mathema said.
Fidelity Printers has not yet finished contract negotiations with Nikuv but our source has said Fidelity has started the clearance of the passport backlog.