The Ministry of Internal affairs has decried the high numbers of people seeking to go abroad as their passport systems overflow with applications. The ministry says they now print over 2,000 passports every day and by the look of things, that number is rising daily.
The re-opening of most of the world’s borders and airports proved to be the trigger for Ugandans, mostly young people seeking employment in the middle east to flock to the ministry of internal affairs headquarters in Kampala seeking passports.
The ministry now reveals that they are being forced to print more, with 18,894 passports printed so far this April.
The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr Benon Mutambi says the numbers have already exceeded the pre-covid levels.
“By January we had already exceeded the pre-covid levels and by march, this number had grown almost more than three times to 8666. You must have seen huge numbers of people lining to enter this place to get passports, and those are largely people brought by the labour export companies,” he said.
Benon Mutambi also confirms that the Ministry is experiencing an increment of about 1,000 passports every month, a trend which has stretched them to the limit.
“The pandemic created a hangover for our services which later brought an increment in the demand for our passports services. Due to job losses, many Ugandans are opting to take up employment services abroad and this has brought pressure on the services from 1,000 passports per day to almost 2100 passports.”
He adds that they have now fast-tracked the opening of branches in Mbale and Gulu to ease the load on Kampala, which is now overrun by multitudes of people.
“So far, the Mbarara Regional center is quite a fanstic facility. It is fully operational. Mbale and Gulu are also expected to be fully operational by the end of this month.”
The ministry also plans to open another office in Kampala for passport collection only to easy the burden on the Jinja road headquarters.
Uganda pledged to the International Civil aviation Organization ICAO to faze out the old-non machine readable passports by April 2022.