The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control
(DCIC) has given an ultimatum of two months to more than 37,000 people with unclaimed passports to pick them up or else destroy them.
Through the Internal Affairs Ministry spokesperson,
Simon Peter Mundeyi, DCI says it is stuck with over 37,000 unclaimed passports
including those that were processed in 2018 when the issuance of the electronic
machine-readable passports (e-Passport) commenced.
Mundeyi explains that a decision has been taken to
give the applicants two months to collect their passports after, which the remaining passports will be destroyed.
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The ultimatum expires in September and the
destruction of unclaimed passports will start with those that were processed in
2018, 2019, and 2020. Mundeyi says that their assessment has revealed that many unclaimed passports were for girls who wanted to go for jobs
in the middle east.
He explains that the labor export companies told
the applicants to use their official lines. a reason why hundreds of messages alerting
people to pick up their passports end up on one Sim Card. Mundeyi adds that if 500 hundred messages are sent to
one Sim Card, chances are that many will not be read or will bounce back.
some cases, people wrote the wrong telephone numbers, a reason some messages go to
people who have never even thought about acquiring a passport. This is why DCIC has urged people who applied for
passports more than three months ago to just walk to the former face technologies
center in Kyambogo and check for their
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Ronnie Mukundane, the Uganda Association of External
Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), says he is not aware of companies that order
their clients to register using their company telephone lines. He, however, says it is
the companies that pay for travel documents and that is why they always wish to
be informed once the passports of their clients are ready.
“Ideally, we would wish that when the passports are
ready the companies also be informed and be present at the time of picking. We on
many occasions see applicants disappearing after picking up their passports. This
presents a loss to a company that paid for the acquisition of this passport,”
UAERA says through their official engagements with DCIC,
they have on many occasions brought this up and requested that they be included
in the mechanism of receiving the passports once the one for their clients is ready.
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.