By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: The Ministry of Internal Affairs has revealed that passport production is now back to full capacity following the completion of their system upgrade.
According to Simon Mundeyi, the ministry spokesperson, starting next week, they will be clearing the backlog of over 10,000 pending passport applications.
“We have now completed the system upgrade, which we have been doing for the last three or so weeks, and this means we have now resumed production of passports at full capacity, anybody who has been complaining about passport delays should now prepare to come for their passports. This week and next week, we shall be clearing the backlog,” Mundeyi told journalists yesterday.
Mundeyi further noted that the ministry also handling those with emergencies who need the travel document to travel and after two weeks, they will embark on the normal applications.
Earlier last month, the Ministry announced that the passport office had scaled down production to enable a system upgrade until the end of May to be able to meet the increasing demand for passports noting that the slow production was prompted by the opening of regional and diaspora passport offices which overwhelmed the headquarters.
This followed the widespread reports by several Ugandans about long waiting periods between online applications and the issuance of passports that had almost tripled.
‘’We had opened all these offices but we had not extended the capacity of our system, so because we are handling system upgrade, we cannot produce passports at 100%, we had to scale down to 60%, not because of passport shortage, I want to make it clear that we have enough passports but we are upgrading our systems to serve Ugandans better,’’ Mudeyi said while addressing journalists last month.
According to Mudeyi, the system upgrade also includes an Automatic Finger Integration System (AFIS) which helps to control passport duplication.
The system upgrade left a number of Ugandans stranded, with many who were applying for express passports that ordinarily come out after at most four days, having to wait for more than a month to get their documents.
Mundeyi however noted that resumption of full capacity production of the passports will see a total of 2,500 passports produced every day in order to reduce the pending applications.