The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control in the ministry of Internal Affairs has rescinded its decision to transfer receipt and delivery of normal passports from the ministry's headquarters along Jinja Road to Post Office Building along Kampala Road
By Alfred Wandera
The General Post Office Building along Kampala Road on Monday got chaotic as people in winding queues run out of patience with no service in sight.
The chaos was as a result of confusion within the directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control in the ministry of Internal Affairs that had transfered receipt and delivery of normal passports from the ministry's headquarters along Jinja Road to Post Office Building.
In a statement sent to newsrooms on Saturday by the directorate's spokesperson, Jacob Siminyu, receipt and delivery of normal passports, including renewal, was supposed to commence Monday at the Post Office Building at a new fee of sh150, 000. The exercise is to take two weeks. Previously, the normal passport cost was sh120, 000.
The same exercise for express passports was supposed to remain at the ministry's headquarters at the new rate of sh300, 000 starting tomorrow, and it will take 24 hours for one to get one.
Winding queues of people were quite a chaotic sight at the Main Post office Building on 28/6/15. This a supposed to be a new measure to cut down the number people who flock the Ministry of Internal Affairs for passport services. Photo/Wilfred Sanya
However, on Monday there was commotion at the Post Office Building as people lost patience after spending many hours queuing to get served.
"People got tired of standing from morning without being served. Later commotion ensued and the whole exercise was paralyzed. People turned rowdy and they could not be controlled anymore," a police officer at a police post located next to Post Office Building narrated to New Vision.
The shoving and jostling was also due to the inadequate space to hold the big turn-up, which turned the room that was meant to ease passport issuance process into a centre for chaos, worsening the situation.
In another statement released on Monday to the newsrooms however, Siminyu said management of passport office has decided to return all the services of passport to the passport control at the ministry headquarters.
He explained that circumstances at Post Office Building have changed and continuing to operate there would be quite challenging in terms of security and efficiency.
"This is therefore to inform the general public that both the normal and express passport applicants shall be served at the ministry headquarters with effect from Tuesday June 30, 2015 at 8:00am. Priority shall be given to the 170 applicants who turned up at the post office on June 29 2015. The Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control regrets all inconveniences caused," Siminyu said in the statement.
The passport office once operated at Post Office Building when the Immigrations office was located at Crested Towers, before they were relocated to the Ministry of Internal Affairs headquarters that was formerly the ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
Siminyu said re-establishing the passport office at the same location was meant to "offer our people better service since it would be convenient."
Ministry rescinds decision on passport issuance