Passport services restored, more swift after system upgrade – Internal Affairs

Kampala – The Ministry of Internal Affairs says they are now handling more passport applicants after undergoing a system upgrade than before.

This follows a two-day shutdown of all passport offices to allow for a comprehensive system upgrade and maintenance.

During the shutdown on Thursday and Friday last week, all services including passport applications, interviews, printing and collection among others were disabled.

According to Simon Mundeyi the Ministry of Internal Affairs spokesperson, they have resumed full production of passports at all centres and services are now swifter than before. Mundeyi says their website  is also fully operational

“If you apply now, you will find our system even much faster, more robust and it quickly processes. The speed has actually doubled that our cameras at the headquarters are now processing faster and they are much clearer than they used to be,” Mundeyi told journalists during a security press briefing at Police headquarters in Kampala on Monday.

He noted that after the upgrade, it now takes between one to two minutes to process one applicant from about four minutes it used to take before.

The Internal Affairs spokesperson explained that they had last upgraded the system in 2018 when the country started issuing e-passports and after five years, they needed to do an upgrade.

“Previously, we had estimated to receive between 1000 and 1200 passport applications but the number has gone up to as many as 3000 applications per day. The system upgrade was therefore required,” said Mundeyi

Passport services are offered at Internal Affairs Ministry headquarters and passport issuance centres in Kyambogo, Mbarara, Mbale, Gulu as well as diaspora offices in Washington DC, London, Ottawa, Copenhagen, Pretoria and Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, Mundeyi warned the public against brokers noting that the Ministry doesn’t deal with any third party to handle passport services.

“Brokers are so many, we chased them at the Ministry and sounding areas and they moved to Darlington road, Nkrumah road, Nasser road, Jinja road and Bugolobi among other areas. We have got information that they even have offices where they corn people that they would get them passports very fast,” the internal affairs ministry spokesperson said

He clarified that the ministry doesn’t have any agent that they work with nor have any agency that they licenced to help people with passport services.

“Our system is very easy and friendly to use, don’t go around looking for people to help you that’s why you see some people getting problems because they use brokers who after eating their money switch off their phones and disappear,” warned Mundeyi

He noted that whereas normal applications for passports take 14 working days, express applications take 48 hours while the upgraded system handles more applicants than it used to do.