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Govt to destroy over 50,000 unclaimed passports worth Shs12.5b

The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control has revealed that more than 50,000 uncollected passports worth Shs12.5 billion are set to be destroyed in a bid to create more storage space at the directorate.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs Spokesperson, Mr Som Mundeyi revealed this on Monday in a security briefing with the media where he said that most of the untaken passports belong to maids who were seeking employment in the Middle East.

“Most of these passports belong to girls who were to be taken to the Middle East and since labor export activities have been drastically reduced, they lost interest in the documents when they returned to their villages.”

Mr Mundeyi added that some of these passports have remained unclaimed for more than six years, and the situation has been exacerbated by another 2,000 unclaimed passports applied for between January and April this year.

“We now have approximately 50,000 passports in our stores across the country that have not been claimed by their owners. Since we have new applicants every day, having so many uncollected passports poses a challenge to our stores,” he said.

Mundeyi added that the ministry therefore plans to destroy passports that have been in stores for years because we have no place to keep them.

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“These passports have not been claimed since 2018,” he said.

Regarding passport applicants whose National Identity Cards have expired or are soon expiring, Mundeyi clarified that the National Identification Number, commonly known as NIN, doesn’t expire and therefore remains valid for passport application.

On average, the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs produces 1,000 to 2,000 passports daily.

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The application for a regular passport booklet costs Shs250,000, while official passports (also called service passports) are charged Shs400,000, and diplomatic passports are charged Shs500,000. It costs Shs400,000 to process an express ordinary passport in three days.

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