450,000 Ugandans Yet to Renew Their Outlawed Passports

At least 450,000 Ugandan are yet to renew their outlawed passports according to the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control- DCIC. Simon Peter Mundeyi who is the spokesperson for the ministry of internal affairs where DCIC falls said the records show over one million Ugandans owned Machine Readable Passports (MRP) which were officially outlawed on April 4th this year.

But by today evening, Mundeyi says only 550,000 Ugandan have successfully acquired the Electronic Machine-Readable Passport (e-MRP) meaning over 450000 have not yet renewed their passports. It should be noted that there more than 1.5million Ugandans in the queue waiting to be clear the DCIC in order to owned e-MRP.

DCIC has accused labour export companies of fraudulent beating its system to swiftly get Electronic-passports for people being taken for external employment. Mundeyi, said because of the labour exporters fraudulent antics of getting e-passport, it has resulted into crowding at headquarters at Port bell road and Kyambogo access centre.

Mundeyi explained that the main offices at Port bell road and Kyambogo centre attend to 1000 to 2000 people picking passports every day. He adds that they get shocked when several people turn up claiming that they have come to pick their travel documents yet the system indicates they applied a few days ago.

“There are some labour companies who try to beat our systems and they try to shortcut here and there. They drive people in Buses and Costas and pour them there with hope to they will maneuver. But once we all hide to appointments, we shall not see crowds,” Mundeyi said.

In response, Ronnie Mukundane, the spokesperson of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), said they have not received any formal writing from immigration about their members allegedly flouting e-passport system.

Mukundane, has implored immigration and internal affairs ministry at large, to reign on its own staff who could be conniving with erroneous labour exporters to beat the passport system in order to get an earlier date.  

“We have not received any official communication and we what we are hearing is a pure allegation. They house the police and if they have information of anyone beating the system, it is a crime and they should arrest them. They would start with their staff,” Mukundane said.

There have been crowds gathering at ministry of internal offices at Port bell road and Kyambogo passport collection centre since October last year. Lauren Yiga, said he was forced to go to Kyambogo because he was not receiving any message inviting him to pick his passport.

“I was told that once five days elapse, it means my passport is ready. Mine has taken 19 days and I had to pick it. My colleague did not receive the message but when he came here, he got his passport,” Yiga said.