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Shortage of ordinary passports to last ten days

By Taddeo Bwambale

Added 4th February 2016 04:15 PM

The shortage does not affect applications for diplomatic and official passports, whose stocks the directorate said was in place.

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The shortage does not affect applications for diplomatic and official passports, whose stocks the directorate said was in place.

Stocks of ordinary passports are running low and only applications from people due to travel abroad by mid-February are being processed, the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control has said.

Nicholas Ongodia, the Commissioner Citizenship and Passport Control revealed at a media briefing on Thursday that the issuance of ordinary passports was only for emergency cases.

“The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control would like to inform the general public that our stock of ordinary passports is getting low, and as such we may not be able to issue passports on the same scale between now and mid-Feb,” Ongodia stated.

The shortage does not affect applications for diplomatic and official passports, whose stocks the directorate said was in place.

Ongodia explained that the shortage of ordinary passports was brought about by overwhelming demand largely from labour export firms.  

In the last three months, applications almost doubled from an average of 300 on a daily basis to about 700 applications.

He, however, gave assurance that new stocks of ordinary passports would be available by mid-February, and that people with exceptional cases would be given priority.

“Consideration is being given to medical cases, senior citizens, security forces and those travelling on official business before mid-february,” Ongodia explained.

Jacob Siminyu, the spokesperson of the directorate said the directorate had placed an order for 100,000 ordinary passports.

Following a similar stock-out last year, the directorate ordered and received a batch of 50,000 ordinary passports in October.

According to Ongodia, the passports were supposed to last at least six months but stocks started running low after just three months.

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