Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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New travel document unveiled

New travel document unveiled

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Herald Reporter

THE Registrar-General’s Office will from tomorrow start issuing six-month multiple-entry Temporary Travel Documents to replace the existing 21-day Emergency Travel Documents.

The new TTD will cost US$38.

At a Press conference in Harare yesterday, RG Mr Tobaiwa Mudede said this would address the challenges of counterfeit travel papers that fraudsters were producing.

“The new document, which will start to be issued on Wednesday 14 April, 2010 is machine-readable just like a passport.

“This is meant to curb fraudulent activities by those who have been trying to imitate our documents. It is much more secure than the old one, which was not machine-readable.

“The new document meets required international standards and will be valid for a period of six months. The issuance will take one day,” Mr Mudede said.

He said the TTD would be used in countries that already accepted Zimbabwe’s ETDs.

Mr Mudede urged ports of entry officials to accept 21-day ETDs until they expired.

The new TTD has a security watermark, a lining at the margin of the document and the national identity number.

Mr Mudede said the new document also had invisible marks, which could only be detected by a machine.

“Having experienced fraudsters who have been producing counterfeit documents, we have decided to tighten the security features with invisible marks which can only be detected by the machine at ports of entry.

“We know they are busy trying to produce fake documents but we believe this time around they would not be able to imitate these ones,” Mr Mudede said.

He urged Zimbabweans to apply for travel documents from designated offices only.

In December last year, scores of Zimbabweans wishing to travel to South Africa for Christmas shopping were stranded at Beitbridge Border Post as immigration officers rejected ETDs.

South Africa’s Home Affairs department officials said the travel documents had been tampered with and insisted that their Zimbabwean counterparts should first authenticate them.

This was after ETDs whose validity was 21 days, were altered and five more months added and signed for by Zimbabwean authorities.

In September last year, Zimbabweans with ETDs issued in Gweru and Bulawayo were barred from entering South Africa because of a flood of fake documents produced in the two cities.

Zimbabwean officials requested the suspension while police investigated a major theft of ETD documents from the Gweru passport office.

A number of syndicates issuing fake documents have been busted over the past year.  


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