The Directorate of Immigration and Citizenship Control under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, is currently stuck with more than 4,500 uncollected passports.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Mr Jacob Siminyu, told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that the high number of unclaimed passports is as a result of applicants being reluctant to go to the ministry because of rumours that the ministry has no passports.
He said majority of those who have not picked their travel documents are people planning to go abroad in search for jobs.
“Currently, we have 4,500 passports which are not collected, up from 3,200 before we had the shortage” Mr Siminyu said.
Last year, the ministry suffered a shortage of the ordinary passports, which was attributed to the impending plan to switch from machine readable passports to electronic passports.
But Mr Siminyu also said there has been an unprecedented increase in the demand for ordinary passports for the last one year.
Mr Siminyu, however, said they have enough passports and told the applicants to go and pick their travel documents.
He said if one’s application has taken more than 10 working days, he or she should visit the ministry headquarters and get help from the passport control officers.
Mr Siminyu said the directorate has also been able to reduce the number of passports with mistakes since they got well trained staff.
“You know we can’t rule out human error, but the number has tremendously reduced since we got new trained staff,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Siminyu revealed that the ministry is in the process of procuring the electronic passports which are to be delivered under a joint venture.