The Ministry of Internal Affairs has said it has completed the system upgrade that it has been doing for the last three of so weeks and this means they have now resumed production of passports at full capacity.
Last month, the ministry cut production of passports by almost a half in a bid to enable a system upgrade including an Automatic Finger Integrated System (AFIS).
Addressing journalists on Monday, Simon Mundeyi, the ministry spokesperson explained that the opening of new passport centres across the country and abroad necessitated a system upgrade.
“Because of having opened so many passport offices, government embarked on upgrading the system for passport processing and now we have finished the upgrade. We are back to normal operations,” Mundeyi said.
Mundeyi explained that the resumption of normal operations of the passport production will see a total of 2500 passports produced every day in order to help deal with the backlog of applications that have been pending.
“Anybody who has been complaining about passport delays should now prepare to come for their passport. This week and next week we shall be clearing the backlog of 10,000 passport applications.”
He explained that on top of working on the 10,000 pending applications, they are currently handling those on emergency and need the travel documents urgently, adding that after two weeks, they will embark of the normal applications.
The newly introduced e-passports go for shs250,000 and sh500,000 for ordinary and express processing respectively and the process of applying is done online.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs however warned members of the public against using brokers whom he said on many occasions defraud unsuspecting members of the public with fees higher than the stipulated ones but also don’t do the work.
The recent scale down on the number of passports produced saw a number of Ugandans stranded, with many applying for express passports which ordinarily come out after at most four days having to wait for more than a month to get their documents.
However, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, this will soon be a story of past after resumption of their operations at full capacity.
New passport centres
Mudenyi revealed that having opened a new passport centre in Abu Dhabi to serve Ugandans in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain, a new one will soon be opened in Dubai.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson said with over 100,000 Ugandans in UAE, these together with others in the neighbouring countries will be spoilt for choice on where to renew their passports from with Abu Dhabi and Dubai centres.
He hinted at opening passport centres in Pretoria, Denmark, Ottawa and Beijing in China which he said is soon coming up.
“Later, wherever there is a Ugandan Embassy, we will open a passport centre,”Mundeyi noted.