The Minister of Internal Affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo has assured Parliament that government within one month will procure a new stock of the ordinary machine readable passports that are currently out of stock.
Ugandans were last week shocked to learn that the Ministry had run out of stock of the said passports with no clear projections for restocking.
While presenting a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, the Minister said that the shortage was created because the ministry was overwhelmed by the number of people applying for passports, especially those seeking employment abroad.
“The other reason is that in line with the regional requirement to migrate to e-passport by April 3, the plan was to phase out the current passports and replace them with the new generation of electronic passports which deadline was later extended to December 2017,” Odongo said.
Because of this, the Minister said it was logical to procure reasonable quantities to avoid financial loss due to overstocking of passports about to be replaced.
“In the interim, the Ministry has put in place criteria to regulate the current stock levels to ensure that stocks last up to the delivery of the next consignment and minimize diverse effects of citizens that are desirous of being facilitated to travel,” Odongo said.
The Minister maintained that other categories of passports such as East African passports, Official and Diplomatic passports are available in adequate quantities to those who qualify to get them.
“The Ministry facilitates citizens with other travel documents valid for travel within EAC and COMESA member states, these include; East African Passport (travel within East Africa), National Identity Card (travel to Kenya and Rwanda), Certificate of Identity (travel within COMESA) and Temporary Movement Permits,” Odongo noted.
He added that the said documents are readily issued at Immigration regional offices of Points of Entry/ Exit; discourage payment for Express passport processing services.