KAMPALA: The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control is currently facing a crisis after running out of passport booklets, the Kampala Report has learnt.
Sources in the passport have intimated to this website that the crisis has been exacerbated by the phasing out of old passport booklets on April 4.
“The demand is overwhelming,” the source said, adding that labour export companies are the most affected.
The government’s phase out of the old passports has since triggered long queues at the Internal Affairs Ministry.
The shortage of booklets has led to frustration among those seeking to travel abroad for business, medical check-up, visit and emergencies.
But Simon Mundeyi, the internal affairs spokesperson, denied shortage of booklets, insisting that the printing of passports is going on “normally.”
He instead accused brokers of creating the speculation since they no longer have the chance to fleece the public of their money.
However, Mundeyi admitted there is a delay in delivering express passports.
“About express, it is true we got a challenge having received so very applicants for the same service. 138 labour companies applied for express passports and this overwhelmed our capacity but we have since increased our work stations and this is being handled well,” he said.
The ministry has opened up regional offices in different parts of the country to reduce congestion at the head office.
The e-passport came after an East African Community (EAC) directive by the heads of state. The e-passports have chips that are easier to read by the micro-processor reader at border points. They also have safety measures like biometric data, which makes it hard to forge.