The Ugandan government is struggling to meet the demand for ordinary passports, shop leaving thousands of intending travelers stranded.
The situation is so alarming that only officials on government business or patients seeking treatment abroad and other individuals in emergency situations can obtain passport.
“The Ministry of Internal Affairs regrets to inform the general public that the stock of Ordinary Passports is running low and this may cause some delay in getting your passport issued or renewed, viagra buy ” the government institution said in a statement on June 13.
The Ministry said the shortage was caused by many factors including the need to upgrade the quality of passports.
“In line with the regional requirement to migrate to e-passport by 03rd April 2017, Uganda had planned to phase out the current Machine Readable Passports and replace them with the new generation of passports embedded with an electronic chip (e-passports),” the statement reads in part.
Officials said the process of procuring a provider for the e-passport is however still on-going.
The Ministry said it continued to experience an “unprecedented increase in demand for Ordinary Passports which has doubled in the past over one year.”
The Ministry has recently been under fire over incompetence and corruption.
Cases of passports running out have been common in recent years, underscoring the ministry’s inability to plan for emergencies or even mobilise for stock in time.
But the Ministry assured that it takes “this matter seriously and is therefore putting in place urgent measures to replenish the stock to normal levels.”
As an interim measure, the Ministry said priority with respect to issuance of Ordinary Passports will be given to persons with proven medical cases; certified applicants proceeding on government business; students on scholarships; and any other qualified case of emergency.
The other categories of passports such as East African passports, Official and Diplomatic passports are available in adequate quantities, according to the Ministry.
The public has since been advised to use the East African Passport for those intending to travel within the EAC region; National Identity cards for those traveling to Kenya and Rwanda and Certificate of Identity for those planning to travel within COMESA member countries. The certificate can be obtained at the regional offices or Points of Entry/Exit.
The Ministry further said temporary movement Permits can as well be secured to travel in the region.
“We wish to inform the public that we shall continue to receive and process applications from the public. In the meantime, we discourage payment for Express passport processing services,” said the Ministry.
“We apologize for the inconveniences caused to the public. However, we are doing everything within our means to restock and clear any accumulated backlog as a result of this shortage in the shortest possible time.”