KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Ministry of Internal Affairs has resumed production of passports at full capacity saying it is now printing between 2,500 and 3,000 copies a day.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, Mr Simon Mundeyi, the ministry spokesperson said by next week, they will be clearing the backlog of 10,000 pending passport applications.
“The good news I have today is that we have resumed full scale passport processing. We have been having challenges where we were only dealing with emergencies of people going abroad for treatment, studies, and quick appointments,” Mr Mundeyi said.
Mr Mundeyi explained that the ministry had in May this year scaled down the production of passports to about 1,000 per day as they serviced their machines.
But now, he said, full production has resumed and that the booklets are enough.
“Anybody who has been complaining about passport delays should now prepare to come for their passports. This week and next week, we shall be clearing the backlog,” he added.
Last month, the ministry cut production of passports by almost half in a bid to enable a system upgrade which left a number of Ugandans stranded, with many who were applying for express passports that ordinarily come out after at most four days, having to wait for more than a month to get their documents.
However, according to Mr Mundeyi, this will soon be a story after the resumption of their operations at full capacity, adding that they are also handling those with emergencies who need the travel document to travel. “After two weeks, we will embark on the normal applications,” he said.
Mr Mundeyi also cautioned Ugandans who keep using brokers to get passports to desist from this.
“We ask Ugandans who keep “donating” money to these brokers to please stop it. Even if you have a lot of money, it can be used in other things than donating free money to these brokers. Some of these individuals have already been arrested and we are on the lookout for others,” Mundeyi said.
He further revealed that having opened a new passport centre in Abu Dhabi to serve Ugandans in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain, a new one will soon be opened in Dubai.
With more than 100,000 Ugandans in UAE and others in the neighbouring countries, they will have a choice on where to renew their passports from with the coming into the place of Abu Dhabi and Dubai centres.
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