The ministry of internal affairs has been forced to decentralize passport enrolment services to regional centers to ease service delivery, as demand rapidly rises mainly due to the growth of the labor export sector.
According to Dr. Benon M. Mutambi, the ministry’s permanent secretary, on March 29, Mbarara Regional Immigration Office was operationalized for the aforementioned operations and they are in the process to do the same for Mbale and Gulu by the end of May and June 2021 respectively.
In a Monday statement, the permanent secretary noted that “many Ugandans are opting to take up employment services abroad” having lost jobs due to the pandemic and “this has brought pressure on the service from 1000 passports to 2100 passports daily.”
Labor export resumed in December 2020 and to date, the ministry has issues 18,894 passports, with 17,121 of these going to people seeking jobs abroad.
“In light of the above, we are experiencing large crowds at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and this is also due to the mandatory requirement for every Passport applicant to appear in order to have their biometrics captured for Passport processing.
This means that at any given day, the Ministry is accommodating more than 4000 people, most of whom are seeking the Passport service,” the permanent secretary revealed.
The ministry has also re-instated full-scale operations by implementing a two-shift system at the Ministry Headquarters for the Passport section which runs from 7am to 7pm each day of the week.
Acquiring a passport now takes two days for express applicants and not more than 4 days for normal applicants, according to the statement from the ministry.
It is important to note that the ministry will on April 4 eliminate the use of the old machine-readable passports so everyone can own an electronic passport.