450,000 Ugandans now stuck with old passports
What you need to know:
- Following the April 4 deadline of phasing out the old passports, there have been very long queues at the passport centre in Kyambogo and at Internal Affairs office on Old Port bell Road. Mr Mundeyi attributed the long queues to people who show up at their centre without being invited.
About half a million Ugandans are unable to travel outside the country because they have not successfully applied and secured the new East African Community e-passport.
The old machine-readable Ugandan passports were phased out on April 4 and cannot be used to travel outside the country, although one can use it to travel back.
“Our records indicate that 450,000 Ugandans have not renewed their old machine-readable passports to the electronic East African passports,” Mr Simon Mundeyi, the Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, told a weekly media briefing yesterday.
He also revealed that 550,000 Ugandans have since been issued with the new e-East African passports.
“The old machine-readable passports stopped being in use after the expiry of the April 4 deadline. Ugandans with these old passports will not be allowed to fly out of the country. Exit out of the country will only be possible with the electronic East African passport,” he said.
Mr Mundeyi clarified that the 450,000 Ugandans who are yet to renew their old machine-readable passports can renew them at any time.
“Renewing of the old passports has not stopped. The process of phasing out of the old passports doesn’t mean we cannot issue new passports. Anyone can renew their old machine-readable passports to new ones at any time they want,” Mr Mundeyi said.
Out of the population of 45 million, only 1 million Ugandans have old passports. Out of these, 550,000 have since been renewed.
Following the April 4 deadline of phasing out the old passports, there have been very long queues at the passport centre in Kyambogo and at Internal Affairs office on Old Port bell Road. Mr Mundeyi attributed the long queues to people who show up at their centre without being invited.
“About crowds and queues at enrolment centre, this is because Ugandans don’t want to follow appointments. We handle between 1,500 to 2,000 applicants per day both at enrolment headquartres and collection centre, Kyambogo, therefore, we cannot handle all those who turn up,” Mr Mundeyi said.
He explained that during the lockdown, hundreds of people applied for passports and yet they were not working, hence causing a backlog.