288 diplomatic passport applications cancelled

Passports. PHOTO/FILE

The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control (DCIC) has cancelled 288 applications for diplomatic passports because the applicants are not eligible to hold them.

The Internal Affairs ministry spokesperson, Mr Simon Mundeyi, said the passports are reserved for high-profile officials.

“We have managed to process 100,000 polycarbonate passports and out of these, we have managed to cancel a total of 288 applicants because they had applied for diplomatic passports and yet they are not eligible to acquire them,” Mr Mundeyi said during the weekly police briefing in Naguru, Kampala, yesterday.

He added: “Many of those who paid for the diplomatic passports indicated that they were VIPs (very important people); they went ahead and paid for the diplomatic passports yet they don’t fall in any of the categories of the diplomats as we proved their status during interviews.”

According to Mr Mundeyi, the individuals who qualify to apply and be issued with diplomatic passports include the President, Speaker and deputy, permanent secretaries, ministers, and cultural leaders among others. 

He said all embassy staff, including cleaners, qualify to apply and be issued diplomatic passports.

Mr Mundeyi called on the affected individuals to apply to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to get a refund of the money they paid for the passports. 

“Ugandans who went ahead and applied for these diplomatic passports, their money can only be refunded on application to the commissioner of Uganda Revenue Authority,” Mr Mundeyi said.

Those acquiring passports pay Shs250,000 for ordinary while official and diplomatic passports are Shs400,000 and Shs500,000 respectively.  Mr Mundeyi also revealed that Ugandans holding service passports can now travel to South Africa without necessarily applying for visas.

He added that Ugandans who need to travel to Kenya and Rwanda can do so with their national identification cards even if they don’t have passports.