Ugandan passport applications drop amid system upgrade

Uganda's Internal Affairs scales down production of new passports by half
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Simon Peter Mundeyi

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Ministry of Internal Affairs has noted a significant decline in the number of applicants for Ugandan passports.

Simon Peter Mundeyi, the spokesperson for Internal Affairs, attributed the earlier surge inUgandan passport applications during the COVID-19 pandemic to the ministry’s system upgrade in anticipation of heightened demand.

However, contrary to expectations, the daily number of passport applicants has dropped to less than 1,000, falling short of the anticipated 3,000.

Express passport applications are currently processed within two days, with ordinary passport applicants receiving theirs in 10 working days. Mundeyi urged Ugandans to avoid using brokers for passport applications, emphasizing the efficiency of the system.

“If you apply for an express passport, you will be given an appointment in the next 30 minutes,” Mundeyi said. “I therefore call upon Ugandans to desist from using brokers to apply for passports because there is no reason to do this when the system is as efficient as it can be.”

East African Community (EAC) e-passports

He highlighted a recent scam involving brokers defrauding a farmer from Sembabule district who paid 2 million shillings for a passport promised in two days. Mundeyi urged citizens to utilize established channels and cautioned against dealing with unknown entities.

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“They promised  getting him a passport in two days,” Mundeyi said referring to people who masquerade as employees. “He paid them 2 million shillings for a passport that costs only 250.000 shillings. After two days he came to the office looking for people we have never seen. Ugandans should know that we don’t know these people and we cannot stop them, anyone who wants a passport should go through the well-known channels.”

Since the introduction of electronic passports in 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that only 1.3 million Ugandans have applied or received passports. The fees for passports are 250,000 Shillings for ordinary, 400,000 Shillings for official, and 500,000 Shillings for diplomatic passports.