Zimbabwe: Unmanned Border Posts By Next Year

Zimbabwe is set to become the first country apart from Dubai to have an unmanned border post by the end of next year, which will see travellers entering and exiting the country using their e-passports and having fingerprints and faces scanned without having to go through the traditional manned border control point.

This system uses biometric data recorded on the passport, such as fingerprints and facial recognition, to verify the identity of the traveller whose face and fingerprints are scanned and compared.

Once the traveller’s identity has been verified, the boom lifts and they are allowed to pass through the unmanned border post.

Justifying the proposed passport fee hike during last Thursday’s National Assembly Budget debate, Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the high fee will go towards full digitisation of the country’s border posts, although he did agree to reduce the fee from US$200 for an ordinary passport to US$150.

“On passport fees, we have listened carefully to the contributions from the Portfolio Chairpersons and National Assembly members that the US$200 is on the high side.

“We agree with that.

“It is just that when we were having the discussions about modernising our borders, we wanted to be the first country outside Dubai to have an unmanned border post where you can walk in because now we have an e-passport with a chip in it.

“You can walk in and the gates open when your passport is read. You do not talk to anybody. We want that equipment here by the end of 2024.”